PE-Backed Pork Producer WH Group Relaunches HK IPO

Hong Kong-based Chinese pork producer WH Group Ltd. is planning to relaunch its Hong Kong initial public offering, according to a securities filing of the company.

The IPO size and pricing range have not been finalized, but media reports say that the IPO could be between US$2 billion to US$3 billion, lower than its original target of raising over US$5 billion disclosed in April. It later cancelled the plan due to lackluster market conditions.

WH Group is planning to use part of the proceeds on repaying debt it took to purchase America’s largest pork company Smithfield International in a US$7.1 billion deal last year.

Beijing-based alternative investment company CDH Investments is the single largest shareholder in WH Group, holding a 38.1% stake. The management team of the company holds 42.6%.

Other shareholders include a private equity unit of Goldman Sachs, which invested in WH Group in 2006, Singapore state investment company Temasek Holdings, and New Horizon Capital, both of whom invested in the company in 2009.

These shareholders will not sell shares during the IPO.

WH Group, formerly known as Shuanghui International, is a majority shareholder in Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development Co., Ltd., China’s largest meat processing business.