Mergers & Acquisitions

Retailer Walker Group sells control to mainland elderly care firm for backdoor listing

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 January, 2016, 11:03am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 January, 2016, 5:44pm

Hong Kong retailer Walker Group is selling a controlling stake in the company at a 27 per cent price premium to a mainland elderly care firm seeking a backdoor listing.

Walker Group, owner of footwear brands such as Walkershop and Acupuncture, said in a stock exchange announcement on Wednesday morning it had agreed to sell a 60.35 per cent stake in the company to China Consume Elderly Care for HK$470 million.

The stake is currently held by Walker Group’s executive director and controlling shareholder Chan Mei Sheung and her family. China Consume Elderly Care is a Seychelles-incorporated investment holding company owned by Zhu Xiaojun, manager of Shanghai Xuri Elderly Care Services, which provides pension-related financial products and services, according to the announcement.

The buyer is making an unconditional mandatory cash offer at HK$1.233 apiece to acquire all the issued shares of the company, and 63 Hong Kong cents for each outstanding option.

The price represents a 27 per cent price premium to Walker Group’s previous closing price of HK$0.97 on January 7.

The buyer intends to maintain the listing status of the company, and continue Walker Group’s existing principal activities, the announcement said.

“The offeror may also leverage the business network of Mr Zhu, which includes but is not limited to financial and banking institutions in China, and his experience in the industry of electronic commerce to facilitate the development and expansion of the Group’s existing business portfolio, establish new business and broaden the source of income of the Group,” the announcement said.

Trading in the company’s shares resumed on Wednesday. They ended the session 35 per cent higher at HK$1.31.