GO
Loading...

UPDATE 1-Pork giant WH Group slashes IPO, delays pricing -sources

* WH Group IPO cut to $1.9 bln from up to $5.3 bln -source

* Revised IPO to include no shares from shareholders, fewer primary shares

* Pricing delayed to next week

(Adds calculation on IPO reduction, selling shareholders affected)

HONG KONG, April 22 (Reuters) - WH Group Ltd, the world's biggest pork company, is slashing its proposed Hong Kong IPO and will delay the pricing of the deal to next week, sources said on Tuesday, a move that could see the Chinese company garner less than $2 billion.

Its initial plan had called for an IPO of up to $5.3 billion and the decision reflects volatility in Hong Kong markets that has dented investor appetite for new listings, one of the sources said, declining to be identified as the bookbuilding process is confidential.

WH Group's IPO has also faced confusion caused from the record number of bookrunners on its deal that vexed some fund managers. A $600 million payout to two top executives for helping the Chinese company seal last year's record $4.9 billion takeover of U.S.-based Smithfield Foods Inc also raised concerns among corporate governance experts in the city.

WH Group will now sell fewer primary shares than initially planned, and no stock from existing shareholders, Thomson Reuters publication IFR reported, citing sources close to the company.

WH Group declined to comment on the report.

Under its initial plan, the company had offered 2.92 billion new shares, while some of its shareholders offered 731 million existing shares in a marketing range of HK$8.00 to $11.25 each.

The revised offering would encompass 10 percent of its enlarged share capital, the first source said. That would be equivalent to about 1.3 billion new shares, based on its 11.69 billion existing shares, according to Reuters calculations.

At the top of its current indicative range, the revised IPO could be valued at up to $1.9 billion.

The company "completed its global roadshow and plans to review the structure of the IPO because of the continued volatile market," the source said.

WH Group and shareholders including Goldman Sachs, Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings and CDH Investments had originally planned to sell shares in the deal.

Pricing had been originally been slated for later on Tuesday, and the company had been due to debut on the Hong Kong stock exchange on April 30. ($1 = 7.7538 Hong Kong Dollars)

(Reporting by Elzio Barreto and Fiona Lau of IFR; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)