A Chinese pork producer that bought U.S.-based Smithfield Foods Inc. late last year has plans for an IPO in Hong Kong that will raise up to $6 billion US.
WH Group Ltd., which renamed itself from Shuanghui International Holdings, bought Virginia-based Smithfield as a source of cheap American pork.
It paid $4.7 billion in cash and another $2.4 billion in debt to finance the transaction, making it the biggest deal yet by a Chinese company for a U.S. asset.
With the listing, Hong Kong’s largest for several years, it hopes to pay down debt on the U.S. deal. It started meeting with prospective investors today ahead of a listing April 29.
WH Group sells packaged ham, sausage and bacon, under its own brand Shuanghui (China), as well as Smithfield and Eckrich brands. By buying Smithfield, Shuanghui got access to pork at prices about half those in China.
The listing by WH Group is the largest in Hong Kong since since AIA’s $20-billion listing in 2010.
Several high-profile Chinese companies have sought out other markets in the past year, among them Alibaba, which is listing in the U.S.