As Watson

Hutchison Whampoa is a Fortune 500 company and one of Hong Kong’s largest listed companies. It is 49.97 per cent owned by the Cheung Kong Group, a property company. Hutchison’s origins date back to two companies founded in the 19th century – Hong Kong and Whampoa Dock, established in 1863 by British merchant John Duflon Hutchison, and Hutchison International in 1877. In 1977, Hutchison became Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. Its operations include ports, with operations across Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, property and hotels, retailing through AS Watson & Co, PARKnSHOP supermarkets, Fortress electrical appliance stores, telecommunications through Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd. It is also involved in infrastructure through its infrastructure arm, Cheung Kong Infrastructure, and has an interest in Hongkong Electric Holdings (HEH), the sole electricity supplier to Hong Kong Island and Lamma Island. Hutchison is also a major shareholder of Husky Energy, one of Canada’s largest energy and energy related companies. It is headed by Li Ka-shing, Asia’s wealthiest man, who has been nicknamed “Superman” because of his investment prowess. 

Did Temasek overpay for its stake in AS Watson?

The AS Watson deal allows Li Ka-shing to pull out some capital from the retailer and redeploy it for better returns. Photo: Bloomberg

Li Ka-shing's latest move to quickly close a HK$44 billion private deal with Singapore's Temasek for 25 per cent of AS Watson may be convenient for him, but the future could reveal that the sovereign wealth fund overpaid for Asia's richest man's own perceived brand and prowess.

Wednesday, 2 April, 2014, 1:01am 2 comments

Temasek diversifies away from China banks

Temasek agreed on Friday to buy 24.95 per cent of AS Watson for HK$44 billion. Photo: WLT/JJD/BC

Temasek's plan to buy a stake in the retail arm of Li Ka-shing's Hutchison Whampoa will help Singapore's state-owned investment firm extend its reach in China and ease its reliance on mainland banks.

It agreed on Friday to buy 24.95 per cent of AS Watson for HK$44 billion.

25 Mar 2014 - 1:32am

Low Watson sale spurs sell-off in Hutchison shares

The sale of the stake in AS Watson for HK$44 billion is seen as low by the market, resulting in Hutchison's stock being sold off. Photo: Reuters

Hutchison Whampoa's shares fell 5.05 per cent yesterday in its largest drop in more than two years as the disposal of a 24.95 per cent stake in its retail arm to Singapore's Temasek last Friday was at a price lower than expected by the market.

The disappointment in the valuation saw the stock skid 5.98 per cent to a low of HK$100.60 before closing at HK$101.60 from HK$107 previously.

25 Mar 2014 - 1:32am

Move to delay listing AS Watson surprises market

AS Watson operates more than 10,500 health and beauty product stores in 25 markets across the world. Photo: Reuters

Li Ka-shing's decision to delay the listing of AS Watson surprised the market, but his sale of 24.95 per cent of the retail company to Singapore sovereign wealth firm Temasek will benefit shareholders, analysts said.

Hutchison Whampoa, the conglomerate controlled by Asia's richest man, announced it would sell the Watson stake to Temasek for HK$44 billion.

22 Mar 2014 - 1:30am

Hutchison Whampoa plans dual listing for AS Watson

Cheung Kong chairman Li Ka-shing says Hong Kong will be one of the markets where AS Watson will be listed. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

Li Ka-shing says his telecommunications and retail flagship Hutchison Whampoa hopes to spin off its AS Watson retail business for a listing in Hong Kong and an overseas market this year, after reporting better-than-expected earnings for last year.

1 Mar 2014 - 1:51am

All eyes on AS Watson spin-off plans when Hutchison reports results

Analysts want an update on Hutchison Whampoa's plan to spin off AS Watson, which operates 11,400 Watsons stores. Photo: Bloomberg

In the absence of sizeable mergers and acquisitions last year, Hutchison Whampoa's annual results announcement tomorrow is likely to be uneventful, with much of the attention focused on a plan to spin off its retailing business, AS Watson, which analysts said could spur earnings this year.

27 Feb 2014 - 1:34am

All eyes will be on AS Watson spin-off plans when Hutchison reports results

AS Watson operates 11,400 stores worldwide. Photo: Company website

In the absence of sizeable mergers and acquisitions last year, Hutchison Whampoa’s annual results announcement on Friday is likely to be uneventful, with much of the attention focused on a plan to spin off its retailing business, AS Watson, which analysts said could spur earnings this year.

26 Feb 2014 - 10:57am

AS Watson retail spin-off seen as perfect timing

Hong Kong's top dealmaker, Li Ka-shing, is on a winning move with a sale of Hutchison's AS Watson unit, analysts say. Photo: Sam Tsang

Hutchison Whampoa's reported spin-off of its retail arm could be perfectly timed as valuation of Asian consumer staples companies stands at a record high, say market watchers.

19 Dec 2013 - 1:38am

A.S. Watson sale tipped to hit price snag again

Businesses under the AS Watson umbrella extend from pharmacy stores to health and beauty centres in Asia and Europe. Photo: Bloomberg

Li Ka-shing's determination to cash out of the AS Watson retail businesses after his recent setback in offloading his ParknShop supermarket assets is likely to meet the same problem: buyer resistance on price.

30 Oct 2013 - 2:07pm 2 comments

Li Ka-shing's Hutchison may sell Watson, raise up to HK$98 billion

A S Watson has more than 11,000 stores operating in 33 markets worldwide. Photo: Bloomberg

Billionaire Li Ka-shing's Hutchison Whampoa is considering selling shares in its AS Watson retailing unit in what may become Asia's biggest initial public offering in three years.

22 Oct 2013 - 3:27am 1 comment

Watsons recalls face mask after death

Watsons China recalled its own brand of a whitening facial mask across the mainland following a claim that it caused a woman's death.

The woman, 42, from Fuzhou , Fujian province, saw her whole body turn red and her lips turn black after using Watsons' White Pearl facial mask on Tuesday. She died in a hospital,, a key news portal in Fujian, reported.

15 Aug 2012 - 11:23pm

Stores act to cut dumping of food

The two largest supermarket chains - ParknShop and Wellcome - have acted on criticism of their record on food waste, with one donating items to the needy and another in talks with a leading food bank.

But green campaigners say the two chains, which came under fire in May after they were discovered to be throwing away huge quantities of edible food, should do more.

15 Aug 2012 - 10:49pm

ParknShop still tossing out food

Major supermarket chain ParknShop continues to deny throwing away perfectly edible food, said campaigners for Friends of the Earth Hong Kong yesterday - as they displayed evidence to the contrary.

As the heat soared to over 34 degrees on one of Hong Kong's busiest thoroughfares, the piles of salad and vegetables wilted, but the bread looked in good condition.

30 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Watsons workers call off strike and resume duties

Watsons Water delivery workers ended a two-and-a-half-day strike yesterday after the company promised to address manpower shortages and an increase in outsourcing - which the union described as the 'core issues' behind the strike.

After a one-hour meeting with the management in the morning, the strikers ended their sit-in at 3pm, and resumed their duties.

14 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Watsons workers set to stay on strike

Half of the orders for Watsons Water will fail to reach customers today, as delivery workers remain on strike for a third day.

About 200 went on strike on Wednesday over demands that the company hire more staff and increase their allowances. Yesterday afternoon, they protested outside the A.S. Watson & Co offices in Tai Po.

13 Jul 2012 - 12:00am