(Corrects the total value of A.S. Watson to HK$177 bln from
HK$144 bln in paragraph four)
HONG KONG, March 21 Singapore state investor
Temasek Holdings has agreed to buy a 24.9 percent stake
in Li Ka-shing's retail business A.S. Watson for about HK$44
billion ($5.7 billion).
Li's Hutchison Whampoa, which owns A.S Watson,
said in a statement on Friday that it would use part of the
proceeds from the stake sale to pay a special dividend of
HK$7.00 per share to its shareholders.
Hutchison launched a strategic review of its retail
operations in October, with an aim to list part of the company
in Hong Kong, among other financial centres.
Temasek's investment in A.S Watson values the company at
HK$177 billion ($22.8 billion). A.S. Watson's business includes
supermarket operator ParknShop and the Watsons, Superdrug and
Kruidvat personal care stores.
($1 = 7.7645 Hong Kong Dollars)
(Reporting by Denny Thomas; Editing by Ryan Woo)