WH Group Ltd, the parent company of US pork producer Smithfield Foods, is refiling for a Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO). In April the company was approved for an initial listing of $6 billion, but the deal was later dropped. The Financial Times reports that an overly-ambitious valuation and difficulty coordinating with the record 29 underwriters were the biggest factors in the failed venture.
Earlier this week WH Group filed a new prospectus, highlighting its strong growth. First quarter earnings more than tripled that of the same period in 2013, from $125 million to $407 million. The number of banks hired to work on the deal has also been cut to just two: the Bank of China International and Morgan Stanley.
The Wall Street Journal reports that about 20 percent of the company’s shares will be part of the offering. With shares priced at approximately 12 to 14 times this year’s expected earnings, the listing is expected to raise between $2 and $2.5 billion. Sources familiar with the deal say it may be concluded as early as mid-August.