Monday, April 22, 2019
Martin Hennecke

Meituan in bruising battle with US$4.2b war chest
Chinese online food delivery-to-ticketing services firm Meituan Dianping (3690) raised US$4.2 billion (HK$32.96 billion) in the world's biggest internet-focused initial public offering in four years as it priced the float near the top end of a marketed range, people close to the deal said.

The Tencent-backed company sold about 480 million primary shares at HK$69 each in the Hong Kong IPO, valuing the company at around US$52.8 billion, the sources said yesterday.

The proceeds will help Meituan fortify itself against stiff competition from its main competitor, food-delivery platform which is backed by China's biggest e-commerce company, Alibaba. Both parties, in a bruising battle for market share, are offering heavy discounts to attract new customers.

Loss-making Meituan last month set a price range of HK$60 to HK$72 per share for the IPO. It could raise as much as US$4.85 billion in total if a 15 percent "greenshoe", or over-allotment option, is fully exercised after the shares begin trading.

The HK$69 IPO price represents a multiple of 27 times its 2020 profit forecast by its underwriting syndicate, according to sources.

The IPO received strong support from institutional investors despite a weak overall Hong Kong stock market. The institutional books were covered multiple times while the retail tranche was covered about 1.5 times.

Meanwhile, China Renaissance, the boutique investment bank focused on new-economy deals, is seeking to raise as much as US$377 million in its Hong Kong IPO.

The Beijing-based firm is offering 85 million shares at HK$31.80 to HK$34.80 apiece. Three cornerstone investors including Alipay, the digital payments company backed by billionaire Jack Ma, have agreed to invest about US$125 million combined, the terms show.

China Renaissance, founded in 2005 by former Morgan Stanley banker Bao Fan, is an early investor in a number of Chinese technology companies including Meituan Dianping.

Alipay and Snow Lake Capital have each committed to purchase about US$50 million of stock in China Renaissance's offering, according to the terms.

In addition, Haidilao International (6862) raised HK$218 million from nine brokers in the retail tranche with margin financing on the first day of the public offering yesterday, only accounting for 32 percent of its fundraising target of HK$680 million.

Also yesterday China Chunlai Education (1969) closed at HK$1.74 on the first trading day on the main board, lower 16.3 percent from its offering price of HK$2.08.

Previous news : Chinese economy defies slowdown


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