(Bloomberg) — China Resources Holdings Co. has selected banks for the Hong Kong initial public offering of its bottled water unit that could raise about $1 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
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The conglomerate is working with Bank of America Corp. and BOC International on the listing preparations of China Resources C’estbon Beverage (China) Co., the people said. Citic Securities Ltd. and UBS Group AG are also arranging the deal, which may happen as soon as this year, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.
Deliberations are ongoing and details of the IPO including size, timing and bank lineup could still change, the people said. Representatives for Bank of America and Citic Securities declined to comment, while representatives for BOCI, China Resources and UBS didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Any sizable share sale would boost Hong Kong’s IPO market, which has been in the doldrums for much of the past two years amid geopolitical tensions and global concern over rising interest rates. Companies have raised just $2.9 billion in the Asian financial hub so far this year, about 38% lower than the same period in 2022, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
At $1 billion, C’estbon’s IPO would be Hong Kong’s biggest from the consumer sector since China Tourism Group Duty Free Corp.’s HK$18.4 billion ($2.4 billion) listing in August, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The bottled water firm is also joining a clutch of Chinese automotive startups that have filed for first-time share sales in the city.
C’estbon traces its roots to 1984, when its predecessor Chinese Longhuan Beverage Co. was founded. In 1990, C’estbon launched its namesake packaged drinking water in China. The Shenzhen-based company also makes bottled tea products under the “Afternoon Milk Tea” and “Afternoon Black Tea” brands as well as “Fire” coffee products, its website shows.
(Updates with Hong Kong IPO data from fourth paragraph.)
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