Italy's Mossi Ghisolfi eyes Hong Kong listing by year-end
CRESCENTINO, Italy (Reuters) - Italy's Mossi Ghisolfi is aiming to list around a third of its M&G Chemicals unit in Hong Kong before the end of the year, its chairman said on Wednesday, as the bioplastics multinational looks to expand its global footprint.
The company, Italy's second-biggest chemicals group after oil major Eni (ENI.MI), has operations in the United States, Brazil, Mexico, China and India.
"There's still a lot to do. We hope to list by the end of this year depending on market conditions," Vittorio Ghisolfi told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference to inaugurate a biorefinery majority-owned by its Beta Renewables unit.
Mossi Ghisolfi, founded by the Ghisolfi family in 1953, is famous for producing PET, a plastic used for soft drink bottles like those of Coca Cola and Pepsi. Its revenue is around $3 billion. Bioplastics are plastics derived from renewable biomass sources, such as vegetable fats and oils.
The M&G Chemicals unit generates around 80 percent of total revenue, family member Guido Ghisolfi said at the conference.
In August sources said the size of the stake to be listed had not been decided but could be around 30 percent, adding the listing was to fund overseas expansion.
It would make Mossi Ghisolfi, which also supplies Danone, Nestle and Cadbury Schweppes, the first big Italian company to list in Hong Kong since Prada (1913.HK) in 2011.
On Wednesday Beta Renewables, part-owned by Texas Pacific Group and global enzyme producer Novozymes (NZYMb.CO), inaugurated a commercial plant to convert agricultural waste into bioethanol - a fuel it will sell to petrol distributors like Shell and Exxon.
Under EU regulations all petrol sold in Europe must have a 2.5 percent biofuel content by 2022.
"The plant cost about 150 million euros and we'd like to duplicate it. It can be done in project finance but I can tell you there are a lot of private equity companies interested," Ghisolfi said.
Beta Renewables is keen to acquire land on the islands of Sicily and Sardinia and the southern region of Puglia.
Mossi Ghisolfi, with more than 2,000 employees, has its own "green" chemistry research center in the southern town of Bari.
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; editing by David Evans)
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