GLP eyeing US$2b HK IPO in logistics assets spin-off

Asian warehouse giant GLP is considering spinning off its US$4 billion (HK$31.2 billion) mainland logistics portfolio in a Hong Kong real estate investment trust listing, IFR reported.

The Singapore-based company is aiming to raise between US$1.6 billion and US$2 billion through the deal and is looking to start trading on the Hong Kong bourse by the end of the year, the report said.

That might be the biggest REIT listing in the city since 2005, when Link REIT raised HK$22 billion for its initial public offering.

Founded in 2009, GLP has more than US$100 billion in assets under management in 17 countries, according to the company’s website.

The company, backed by Singapore wealth fund GIC, raised S$3.45 billion (HK$20.2 billion) in 2010, which was the biggest IPO since 1993 in the country.

Seven years later, a leading Chinese private equity consortium took GLP private in a S$16 billion deal.

The consortium comprised Hopu Investment Management, Hillhouse Capital, China Vanke, and the financial service investment arm of Bank of China, which was backed by GLP CEO Ming Mei.

Hong Kong will provide subsidies to lure REITs to list in the city and play catch-up with Singapore. The subsidy will cover 70 percent of listing expenses in the coming three years, subject to a cap of HK$8 million.

Mainland China is also close to kicking off its long-awaited public REITs market. The China Securities Regulatory Commission approved the first batch of nine REITs earlier this month, including REITs investing in Chinese warehouses owned by GLP.

In other news, Shenzhen-listed Betta Pharmaceuticals is seeking to pass a listing hearing this week for its Hong Kong secondary listing to raise US$1 billion, local media reported.

At least three Chinese companies have put their plans to list in the US on hold, heralding a slowdown in what’s been a record start to a year for initial public offerings by mainland and Hong Kong firms, Bloomberg reported.

A bike-sharing platform, a podcaster and a cloud computing firm are among popular Chinese corporations holding off plans for a US float, put off by recent market declines, souring investor sentiment toward fast-growth companies and lackluster debuts by peers like Waterdrop.

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