WH Group reportedly refiles plans for IPO; company scrapped previous IPO plan in April when investor interest fell short

Nevin Barich

Nevin Barich

Jul 10, 2014 – Virginian-Pilot

NORFOLK, Virginia , July 10, 2014 () – The Chinese parent company of Smithfield Foods Inc. has refiled plans for an initial public offering, according to reports from Hong Kong by Reuters, Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal.

WH Group Ltd. scrapped a planned IPO in April when investor interest fell short. At one point, the pork producer had planned to raise $5.3 billion.

Among other things that soured the previous offering was a disclosure that two WH Group executives were paid $600 million in stock as a reward for orchestrating the $7.1 billion buyout of locally based Smithfield last year. That was the largest-ever purchase of a U.S. business by a Chinese company.

At the time of the Smithfield buyout, the Chinese company was known as Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. It later changed its name to WH Group.

The Journal reported that WH Group's latest IPO notice was filed in Hong Kong on Wednesday. It cited anonymous sources who said that the plan calls for raising as much as $2.5 billion in an offering of 20 percent of the company.

Morgan Stanley and Chinese investment bank BOCI International will be the lead underwriters for the offering, according to the filing. The previous IPO effort involved five lead underwriters and 25 lesser underwriters. Some market analysts said that undermined the offering because the spoils were divided too much to energize the bankers.


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