December 7, 2018 / 3:07 AM / 4 days ago

China's WuXi AppTec raises $1 billion in HK listing: sources

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese medical tech platform WuXi AppTec raised $1.01 billion in its Hong Kong listing, sources said, valuing the company at $10.2 billion in a deal that marks one of this year’s last big stock offerings in the Asian financial hub.

FILE PHOTO - Researchers work at a laboratory of WuXi AppTec (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. in Shanghai, China, April 25, 2016. REUTERS/Aly Song

Shanghai-listed WuXi AppTec (603259.SS) priced its Hong Kong shares at HK$68 ($8.71) apiece, at the middle of an indicated range of HK$64.1-HK$71.5, the sources told Reuters on Friday.

That represents a discount of 25 percent to its closing price of 79.99 yuan ($11.63) on Thursday.

It could raise up to $1.16 billion if an over-allotment option is exercised within a month of the start of trading, which would value the company at $10.3 billion, according to a term sheet seen by Reuters.

WuXi AppTec did not respond to Reuters request for comment.

This listing should serve as positive news for Hong Kong, where many firms such as Meituan Dianping (3690.HK) have sunk below their initial public offering (IPO) prices, while others have scaled back their targeted fundraising amid jittery markets.

Bankers have been hoping for WuXi AppTec and tech giant Tencent’s (0700.HK) music arm, which launched its highly anticipated U.S. IPO of up to $1.2 billion on Monday, to help usher in 2019 on a positive note.

Referring to previous day’s guidance of HK$70, a source said, WuXi AppTec could have priced higher, but wanted to leave money on the table because of volatile markets this week.

Hong Kong is poised to become the world’s top IPO center by volume this year, with $33.2 billion raised so far, Refinitiv data shows. However, concerns over mounting trade friction between China and the United States and slowing growth in the world’s second-biggest economy continued to weigh.

Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index .HSI is down more than 12 percent this year.

Shanghai-based WuXi AppTec describes itself as the largest pharmaceutical R&D services platform in Asia by revenue.

The company had revenues of 4.41 billion yuan ($641 million) in the first half of this year, versus 3.67 billion yuan in the same period last year, according to its listing prospectus. The medical tech platform’s first-half profit surged 67 percent to 1.3 billion yuan.

WuXi AppTec intends to use the proceeds from the listing to expand capacity across its units globally, invest in seven China projects such as a Chengdu R&D campus and set up a bio-analytical laboratory in San Diego, California, the prospectus said.

It also intends to fund the acquisition of contract research organization companies.

WuXi AppTec shares will begin trading in Hong Kong on Dec. 13.

Goldman Sachs, Huatai Financial and Morgan Stanley (MS.N) are sponsoring the listing.

($1 = 7.8107 Hong Kong dollars)

($1 = 6.8818 Chinese yuan)

Additional reporting by Julie Zhu; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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