China’s Nongfu Spring begins share offering in Hong Kong

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Chinese bottled water and beverage company Nongfu Spring announced Tuesday its initial public offering (IPO) on the Hong Kong stock exchange, and plans to list its shares on Sept. 8.

The company is offering over 388 million shares at an indicative price of 19.5 to 21.5 Hong Kong dollars per share. China International Capital Corp. and Morgan Stanley are the joint sponsors.

According to its prospectus, Nongfu Spring is a leading enterprise in packaged drinking water and beverages in China. It reported year-on-year increases of 17.1 percent and 17.3 percent in total revenue in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Research firm Frost & Sullivan said in a report that Nongfu Spring has maintained the largest share of China’s packaged drinking water market for eight consecutive years.

The company could raise about 7.77 billion Hong Kong dollars (1.00 billion U.S. dollars) if pricing its shares at 20.5 Hong Kong dollars, which it said will be used for brand building, purchasing refrigerators and intelligent terminal retail equipment, increasing production capacity, and strengthening business operations.

According to Frost & Sullivan, China’s soft drink market reached 991.4 billion yuan (143.4 billion U.S. dollars) in terms of retail sales in 2019. The research firm said China’s soft drink market will continue to grow, with an expected compound annual growth rate of 5.9 percent from 2019 to 2024. (1 U.S. dollar equals 7.75 HK dollars)

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