Linklaters and Beijing-based Haiwen & Partners have advised Hong Kong’s largest initial public offering (IPO) this year.
Raising approximately $2.1 billion, state-owned China Tourism Group Duty Free, which owns and operates the world’s largest tax-exempt retail network, has become Hong Kong’s largest issuer this year.
The deal surpasses the $1.7 billion raised by Chinese lithium producer, Tianqi Lithium, in July.
China Tourism Group also owns almost a quarter of the world’s market share in the travel retail industry, the company is already listed in Shanghai.
The Linklaters’ team, which included Hong Kong capital markets partner Lipton Li, was led by the firm’s departing Hong Kong partner Iris Leung. Leung will soon be leaving the firm for Allen & Overy.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Jia Yuan Law Offices are advising the underwriters.
China Tourism Group had initially planned to raise $5 billion in Hong Kong in the last quarter of last year later but shelved its plans due to a fall in its Shanghai stock prices, as well as the Chinese government’s new restrictions on offshore listings, which caused a plummet in share prices for many offshore-listed Chinese companies.
IPO fundraising in Hong Kong was down 90% in the first half of 2022. As of last week, companies have raised just $5 billion this year from Hong Kong IPOs, compared to the $35 billion raised in the whole of last year.
Other Chinese companies that have Hong Kong IPOs in the pipeline include Blackstone Inc.-backed PAG, an Asia-focussed private equity firm. PAG filed for a $2 billion listing in March this year but is now considering a delay due to market volatility, according to Bloomberg.
JunHe, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Travers Thorp Alberga are advising PAG, which is led by Chinese businessman Weijian Shan. The underwriters are being represented by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Fangda Partners.