CDH’s WH Group files again for HK IPO

The re-launched listing is expected to raise $2.05bn but CDH will not sell any shares

CDH Investments is once again intending to list its portfolio company WH Group in Hong Kong, having reduced its valuation to $2.05 billion from the $5 billion it was targeting earlier this year.

The company, formerly known as Shuanghui International, filed documents with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange this week indicating its intent to list, although withheld financial details of the offering.

However, the listing is expected to raise up to $2.05 billion, selling 2.56 billion shares at a fixed price of HK$6.20 ($0.80; €0.60), media has reported citing people familiar with the matter.

The listing will not represent an exit for Chinese private equity firm CDH, a source close to the matter told Private Equity International, but added that CDH “has been investing in WH for many years and even with a lower valuation, the investment will still be a huge success for the firm and its investors.”

WH management won't sell any shares for three years after the listing and CDH won't sell for a year.

In April, the Chinese pork producer had pulled the Hong Kong initial public offering citing “deteriorating market conditions and recent excessive market volatility”.

The listing proposal, filed with the HKEx in mid-April, said the company had planned to raise as much as HK$41 billion ($5.3 billion; €3.8 billion) in the IPO, which was expected to be one of the largest this year. However, due to lacklustre investor interest, the figure later dropped to as little as $1.3 billion.

While WH enlisted 29 underwriters in the previous listing attempt, it has just two this time around – Morgan Stanley and BOC International, a unit of Bank of China, according to media reports.