Shareholder pulls $120 mln Tingyi sale on weak demand -sources

HONG KONG Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:06am EDT

HONG KONG Oct 16 (Reuters) - A Tingyi shareholder seeking to sell up to $120 million in stock cancelled the offer after investors demanded bigger discounts to buy into the largest instant noodle maker in China, two sources with knowledge of the deal said on Tuesday.

The withdrawal marks an unusual failure for a block offering in the Asia-Pacific region, where investment banks are increasingly focusing on such deals as investor interest in IPOs wanes.

The undisclosed shareholder in Tingyi (Cayman Islands) Holdings Corp had offered 38.27 million shares in a range of HK$23.75 to HK$24 each, equivalent to a discount of 1 percent to 2.1 percent to Monday's close, according to terms of the deal seen by Reuters.

"The discount was too small. If it had been priced at a 5-7 percent discount, it would have been snapped up very quickly," said Jackson Wong, Tanrich Securities' vice-president for equity sales.

Goldman Sachs was bookrunner on the Tingyi deal. A spokeswoman for the bank in Hong Kong confirmed that the offering had not taken place but declined further comment.

A Tingyi spokeswoman in Hong Kong declined to comment on the share sale.

Shares in Tingyi, which sells noodles under the Master Kong brand and has a tie-up with PepsiCo in China, dropped 2.5 percent in early afternoon trade in Hong Kong, compared with a 0.2 percent gain in the benchmark Hang Seng index.

The stock has soared nearly 32 percent since reaching a 2012 low in late May.

Block deals in the Asia-Pacific jumped 84 percent in the first nine months of 2012, contrasting sharply with a 57 percent tumble in IPO issuance, according to Thomson Reuters data.