JS Global pulls Hong Kong listing amid trade gloom, say sources | Money

The Hong Kong Exchanges flag, Chinese national flag and Hong Kong flag are hoisted outside the Hong Kong Stocks Exchange in Hong Kong June 7, 2016. — Reuters pic
The Hong Kong Exchanges flag, Chinese national flag and Hong Kong flag are hoisted outside the Hong Kong Stocks Exchange in Hong Kong June 7, 2016. — Reuters pic

HONG KONG, Oct 26 — Household appliances maker JS Global Lifestyle Company Ltd pulled its initial public offering of up to HK$3.62 billion (RM1.9 billion) today, the third float delayed in Hong Kong so far this year, two sources told Reuters.

The IPO is among a handful of recent offerings seen as tests of investor sentiment as markets are already on edge amid a trade dispute between the United States and China.

JS Global, which owns Chinese kitchen-appliances maker Joyoung and US home-appliances maker SharkNijia, informed investors yesterday that it planned to price the IPO at the bottom of the indicative range of HK$5.55 to HK$7.25 a share, the sources said.

That meant the company could raise about US$355 million by selling 500 million primary shares at HK$5.55 apiece.

However, sources said that while the books were covered for the IPO earlier this week, JS Global could not secure enough solid orders and had to cancel the deal.

Investors generally put in orders for more shares than they actually expect to receive in an effort to ensure they get a good allocation. Deals where those investors end up with more than their real demand often trade poorly to begin with or have to be cancelled as they are not allocable.

Investors have been wary of the impact of the trade war on the consumer sector, with Chinese consumers scaling back purchases on everything from smartphones to furniture, as income growth slows and debt levels creep higher.

“The company has been trying to sell a story about US-China synergy, but several investors are concerned that trade tensions would weigh on its business prospects in both countries,” said one of the sources. “Even at the low end, the deal is still not appealing enough.”

The marketed price range represented a multiple of 11.5-15 times JS Global’s forecast 2020 earnings, said sources, who declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak on the matter.

JS Global did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The IPO is the third sizeable deal delayed in Hong Kong so far this year.

AB InBev, the world’s largest beer maker, pulled an IPO of its Asia-Pacific unit in July but then last month floated the business in the city’s biggest listing this year.

ESR Cayman Ltd, a logistics real estate developer, which also cancelled a deal worth up to US$1.24 billion in June, on Monday relaunched a bigger Hong Kong IPO.

Morgan Stanley is the co-sponsor of both JS Global and AB InBev Asia offerings. The bank is also leading the ESR float in its second listing attempt.

Backed by Chinese private-equity firm CDH Investments, JS Global posted a net profit of US$112 million last year, down 20 per cent from a year earlier.

Credit Suisse and ICBC International are the other two joint sponsors of the IPO.

None of the co-sponsors immediately responded to a request for comment on the deal. — Reuters

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