China's WuXi AppTec raises US$1b in HK listing


Chinese medical tech platform WuXi AppTec raised $1.01 billion in its Hong Kong listing. - Bloomberg pic

Chinese medical tech platform WuXi AppTec raised $1.01 billion in its Hong Kong listing. - Bloomberg pic

HONG KONG: Chinese medical tech platform WuXi AppTec raised $1.01 billion in its Hong Kong listing, sources told Reuters on Friday, making it one of this year's last big deals in the Asian financial hub to end on a positive note.

Shanghai-listed WuXi priced its listing at HK$68 ($8.71) per share, at the middle of an indicated range of HK$64.1-HK$71.5, said the sources, who are familiar with the matter.

It could raise up to $1.16 billion if an over-allotment option is exercised within a month of the start of trading.

WuXi could not be immediately reached for a comment.

This listing should come as good news for Hong Kong where many firms like Meituan Dianping have sunk below their IPO prices, while others have scaled back their targeted fundraising amid jittery markets.

Bankers have been hoping for WuXi and tech giant Tencent's music arm, which launched its hotly-anticipated U.S. initial public offering (IPO) of up to $1.2 billion on Monday, to go well and help usher in 2019 on a positive note.

One source said WuXi could have priced higher - it was giving guidance of HK$70 on Thursday - but wanted to leave money on the table because of volatile markets this week.

Hong Kong is on track to become the world's top IPO centre by volume this year, with $33.2 billion raised so far, Refinitiv data shows. But concerns over a China-U.S. trade war and slowing growth in the world's No.2 economy continue to be a drag.

Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index is down more than 12 percent this year.

Shanghai-based WuXi describes itself as the largest pharmaceutical R&D services platform in Asia by revenue.

The company had revenues of 4.41 billion yuan ($641 million) in the first half of this year, versus 3.67 billion yuan in the same period last year, according to its listing prospectus. Its profits jumped 67 percent to 1.3 billion yuan in the first half.

WuXi intends to use the proceeds from the listing to expand capacity across its units globally, invest in seven China projects such as a Chengdu R&D campus and set up a bioanalytical laboratory in San Diego, California, the prospectus says.

It also intends to fund the acquisition of contract research organisation companies.

WuXi shares will begin trading in Hong Kong on Dec. 13.

Goldman Sachs, Huatai Financial and Morgan Stanley are sponsoring the listing. - Reuters
 

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