Yum China Holding Inc. has filed confidentially for a Hong Kong listing that could raise about $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, joining other U.S.-traded Chinese companies seeking share sales in the financial hub.
The restaurant operator running outlets of U.S. brands including KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell in China submitted a stock listing application to the Hong Kong exchange in recent weeks, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is not public. The New York-listed company has been working with China International Capital Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on preparations for the share sale, Bloomberg Newsreported in January.
The listing would be the latest in a growing number of U.S.-listed Chinese companies turning to the Hong Kong market for fresh funds, as tensions between the two countries and fallout from the Luckin Coffee Inc. accounting scandal threaten to limit Chinese firms’ access to U.S. capital markets. Chinese online retailer JD.com raised $3.9 billion in its Hong Kong listing Thursday, while gaming company NetEase Inc. raised $2.7 billion for its Hong Kong share sale on June 11.
China Inc. Leaving U.S. Market at Fastest Pace Since 2015
Details of the proposed share sale are not final and the company could decide not to pursue the listing, the people said. A representative for Yum China declined to comment.
Yum China operates 9,295 restaurants in over 1,400 cities in the country, according to itswebsite. China’s biggest fast-food chain operatorreported a 24% year over year decline in first quarter revenue, and said it expects an extended recovery period from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on its business.
The companypivoted in February by introducing so-called “contactless” delivery and business lines such as catering and delivering raw food for home-cooking. By late March, it said 95% of its stores in China were either partially or fully open.
— With assistance by Julia Fioretti, and Jinshan Hong
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