ESR Cayman looks to revive $1.45bn Hong Kong IPO
Investor sentiment improves as political tension cools
ESR Cayman, the Asia-focused logistics company, will make a second attempt at an initial public offering. The $1.45bn (£1.12bn) IPO would be one of the second largest listings on the Hong Kong stock exchange this year and comes amid continued unrest in the semi-autonomous Chinese region.
Backed by the American private equity firm Warburg Pincus, ESR Cayman plans to sell 653.7m shares to investors priced between HK$16.20 and HK$17.40 ($2.07 and $2.22). This would value the largest logistics real estate platform in Asia between $6.3bn and $6.7bn.
Hong Kong has struggled with weak investor sentiment since anti-government protests broke out in June. Unsurprisingly it is set to lose its place to New York as the world’s top IPO venue.
Protests broke out in light of a controversial extradition bill whereby citizens could not stand trial before Hong Kong’s independent judiciary but before Chinese Communist Party courts on the mainland, but morphed into a larger dispute over Hong Kong’s freedom.
With the extradition bill now withdrawn and tensions calming somewhat, investor sentiment is slowly improving. Last month the Asia-Pacific arm of the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch, raised $5.75bn after initially shelving its IPO plans due to the protests.
Shares in ESR are expected to debut on the Hong Kong exchange on November 1. Deutsche Bank and CLSA are co-sponsors on the deal.
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