Billionaire-backed China dairy firm hires banks for up to $1 bln HK IPO

HONG KONG Tue Nov 6, 2012 11:36pm EST

HONG KONG Nov 7 (Reuters) - Chinese dairy company Liaoning Huishan Holdings, backed by the Hong Kong billionaire whose family controls jewellery firm Chow Tai Fook, has hired three banks as sponsors of an up to $1 billion Hong Kong IPO in 2013, sources said on Wednesday.

Deutsche Bank, HSBC and JPMorgan have been picked for the deal, which is expected to take place in the second half of 2013, the sources with direct knowledge of the plan said.

The company has not given out formal mandates yet and the final size of the deal would depend on market conditions when the offer is launched, they added.

The sources were not authorized to discuss the IPO plans as details are not yet public. The three banks declined to comment. The company could not be reached for an immediate comment.

Huishan is the largest producer of dairy products in Northeast China, and has been operating for more than 60 years, Thomson Reuters publication IFR reported last month, putting the deal at around $600 million.

The company counts Cheng Yu-tung, the Hong Kong property and jewellery tycoon whose family controls Chow Tai Fook, as an early investor. Chow Tai Fook itself went public last year, raising $2.1 billion through a Hong Kong listing.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier on the banks' mandates on the Huishan deal.

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