Anxin targets US$150m from New York share sale

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 March, 2007, 12:00am

Shanghai Anxin Flooring, in which United States private equity firm Carlyle Group has a stake, plans to raise about US$150 million from an initial public offering in New York as early as the third quarter.

The company had yet to decide whether to sell shares on the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq Stock Market, sources said. Anxin could not be reached for comment.

Carlyle in May last year paid US$20 million for an undisclosed stake in the company, the mainland's largest wood-flooring maker and distributor. At the time, it said it would invest an additional US$7.5 million in the company by the middle of next year.

Anxin in 2004 acquired a forest reserve in Brazil, the first mainland company to buy forestry resources overseas, according to a statement by Carlyle at the time of the stake purchase.

The following year it bought 40,000 square metres of land in Heilongjiang province. Anxin invested 100 million yuan in a wood-processing facility on the site that will start operation this year. It will be able to process 1,000 cubic metres of timber a month.

The company has an annual production capacity of 3.5 million sqmetres of wood flooring and operates more than 400 retail outlets in the mainland by franchise. It is trying to expand into the growing market for engineered flooring. Such floors are made from gluing together thin pieces of wood and are cheaper than the solid wood floors the company initially focused on.

The country's engineered floor market is expected to surpass the solid wood segment by 2011, according to the statement.

Timber used in the company's flooring includes white oak, birch and Brazilian tigerwood.

Anxin generated 700 million yuan in sales from solid wood floors in 2005. China's wood floor market volume rose to 230 million sqmetres in 2005 from 130 million sqmetres in 2004.