Blue Moon Group, the detergent maker backed by Asian private equity manager Hillhouse Capital, has priced its Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) at the top end of a price range, enabling it to raise US$1.27 billion (HK$9.38 billion) amid strong investors’ demand. The offer price was set at HK$13.16 per share, according to a person familiar with the transaction, at the top-end of the range with a floor at HK$10.2. The completion of Blue Moon’s IPO will increase the number of IPOs aiming to debut before Christmas to 16 from 12 last month, making December one of the busiest months for Hong Kong’s capital market in the final quarter. As many as 132 companies raised a combined US$47 billion this year in Hong Kong, a 10-year high , according to Refinitiv’s data. The strong investors’ demand for Blue Moon came after the trailblazing US$1.1 billion IPO of Chinese beverage maker Nongfu Spring in September, whose retail tranche was overbought 1,147 times, making it the city’s most overbought IPO this year. Bankers said the robust demand for consumer-related Chinese issuers seen this year is likely to continue into 2021, as investors bet their money in the only major economy in the world that will continue to report growth this year, even as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage. The Guangzhou-based Blue Moon, which puts 747.1 million shares on offer, has granted underwriters an overallotment option to sell up to 112.1 million more shares to meet strong investors’ demand, according to its prospectus filed to the exchange. Given its top-end offer price, Blue Moon Group’s market capitalisation will reach HK$75.6 billion as it seeks to go public on the main board on December 16. Bank of America, CICC, and Citi are the joint sponsors and joint bookrunners of the deal. Hillhouse Capital, which owns about 9.3 per cent of the firm, has committed to buying shares to prevent it from getting diluted. The firm, which sells liquid laundry detergent and bathroom cleaning products, plans to use the proceeds to boost production capacity, expanding its sales and distribution network. Blue Moon Group’s revenue and gross profit for the nine months ended September fell slightly year-on-year; the drop in revenue was primarily due to weaker demand for its fabric care products caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. For the six month ended June, its net profit rose 38.9 per cent to HK$302.2 million from HK$218 million during the same period a year ago. China’s household care market accounts for over a third of the growth in the global household care industry from 2019 to 2024, and is expected to grow to 167.7 billion yuan by 2024 from 110.8 billion yuan last year by retail sales value, according to data from Frost & Sullivan as cited in the prospectus.