Chinese pork giant WH Group pulls HK IPO on weak demand, markets-sources

HONG KONG, April 29 Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:43am EDT

HONG KONG, April 29 (Reuters) - China's WH Group Ltd, the world's biggest pork company, postponed its planned Hong Kong initial public offering, underscoring weak demand for the deal even after the company slashed the offer's size and reduced the valuation, people with direct knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.

WH Group postponed the deal without setting a new timetable, effectively pulling the deal in its current shape, added the people who declined to be named as they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Company officials were not immediately available for a comment.

WH Group, whose products include Smithfield ham and Farmland bacon in the United States, offered 1.3 billion new shares in a revised deal valued at up to HK$14.61 billion ($1.9 billion). It had marketed the IPO in an indicative range of HK$8.00 to HK$11.25 per share.

The IPO was slashed in size last week from the original up to $5.3 billion that had WH Group and a group of shareholders including private equity firm CDH Investments and New Horizon, Goldman Sachs and Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings selling shares. (Reporting by Daniel Stanton of IFR and Elzio Barreto; Editing by Denny Thomas and Miral Fahmy)

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