Tenwow International, a Shanghai-based maker of packaged food and beverage products, started its premarketing campaign yesterday in a bid to raise about US$200 million through a Hong Kong float next month, rekindling hopes of a revival in initial public offerings this year.
The company, established in 1999, plans to sell 25 per cent of its enlarged share capital and use the bulk of the fresh capital to expand its production capacity in Chengdu.
Two people involved in the deal said investors were likely to look favourably on Tenwow because its self-branded products, which include candied fruits and nuts as well as bottled tea drinks, had relatively high gross margins.
In a bid to secure the launch deal, at least three private-equity firms - Carlyle, Milestone Partners and Orchid Asia - have pledged to commit a combined US$92.2 million as cornerstone investors, representing almost half of the entire share sale, according to a document seen by the South China Morning Post.
Part of the IPO proceeds will be used to finance distribution networks and expansion into new regions such as China's northeast and southwest, the two people said. After a week of premarketing this week, the company is expected to begin a one-week global roadshow next Tuesday.
It will take orders from retail investors from next Thursday to September 10, with final pricing to be set on September 11 and trading to start on September 19.
CICC, Deutsche Bank and HSBC are the book-runners for the Tenwow deal.
The overall margin in the mainland's snack food industry is on an upward trend, thanks to more efficient distribution and lower administrative costs.
In a statement filed with the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday, Want Want China, the country's largest maker of rice cakes and flavoured milk, said its overall gross margin expanded to 41.2 per cent in the first half of the year, compared with 37.1 per cent in the same period last year.
Shares of Want Want China finished up 9.6 per cent at HK$11.42 yesterday after the release of the forecast-beating results.
Tenwow's planned share sale could be a timely fillip for Hong Kong's lacklustre IPO market.
The city's equity capital markets, including IPOs, have fallen 29 per cent to US$24 billion in the first eight months of this year, compared with the same period last year, Dealogic said.