China Agri, Cofco raise US$410m
Lee Yuk-kei and Tim LeeMaster
China Agri-Industries Holdings, the mainland's largest processor of crops, and parent Cofco International raised US$410 million from an initial public offering that was priced at the highest end of the indicative range, market sources said.
China Agri sold 698 million new shares and Cofco sold 163 million existing shares at HK$3.72 each. The deal was marketed by the companies and bookrunners Goldman Sachs and Bank of China International at HK$3.10 to HK$3.72. The final price values the company at 18 times this year's expected earnings.
'The government wants to expand capacity in alternative energy so if you are going to build a position in that sector this is one firm you'd probably have to own,' said one fund manager that bought into the IPO.
China Agri planned to spend most of the sale proceeds on its two main operations - oilseed processing as well as biofuel and biochemicals - which together contributed 65 per cent of its net profit last year, sources said.