China’s WuXi AppTec raises $1bn in Hong Kong listing
Chinese medical tech platform WuXi AppTec raised $1.01bn in its Hong Kong listing, sources said, valuing the company at $10.2bn in a deal that marks one of this year’s last big stock offerings in the Asian financial hub. Shanghai-listed WuXi AppTec priced its Hong Kong shares at HK$68 ($8.71) apiece, at the middle of an indicated range of HK$64.1-HK$71.5, the sources told Reuters on Friday.
That represents a discount of 25% to its closing price of 79.99 yuan ($11.63) on Thursday.
It could raise up to $1.16bn if an overallotment option is exercised within a month of the start of trading, which would value the company at $10.3bn, according to a term sheet seen by Reuters.
WuXi AppTec did not respond to Reuters request for comment.
This listing should serve as positive news for Hong Kong, where many firms such as Meituan Dianping have sunk below their initial public offering (IPO) prices, while others have scaled back their targeted fundraising amid jittery markets. Bankers have been hoping for WuXi AppTec and tech giant Tencent’s music arm, which launched its highly anticipated US IPO of up to $1.2bn on Monday, to help usher in 2019 on a positive note. Referring to previous day’s guidance of HK$70, a source said, WuXi AppTec could have priced higher, but wanted to leave money on the table because of volatile markets this week.
Hong Kong is poised to become the world’s top IPO centre by volume this year, with $33.2bn raised so far, Refinitiv data shows. However, concerns over mounting trade friction between China and the United States and slowing growth in the world’s second-biggest economy continued to weigh.
Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng index is down more than 12% this year. Shanghai-based WuXi AppTec describes itself as the largest pharmaceutical R&D services platform in Asia by revenue. The company had revenues of 4.41bn yuan ($641mn) in the first half of this year, versus 3.67bn yuan in the same period last year, according to its listing prospectus.
The medical tech platform’s first-half profit surged 67% to 1.3bn yuan. WuXi AppTec intends to use the proceeds from the listing to expand capacity across its units globally, invest in seven China projects such as a Chengdu R&D campus and set up a bio-analytical laboratory in San Diego, California, the prospectus said. It also intends to fund the acquisition of contract research organisation companies.
WuXi AppTec shares will begin trading in Hong Kong on December 13. Goldman Sachs, Huatai Financial and Morgan Stanley are sponsoring the listing.