Hutchison chooses BoA Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, HSBC to manage A.S. Watson float

December 18
12:45 AM 2013

Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. has chosen three banks to manage the float of its health and beauty retail arm A.S. Watson & Co. Ltd. in the country's bourse. It could involve a secondary listing in London.

Reuters, citing a report by Sky News, said that Hutchison picked Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs Group and HSBC Holdings to manage the share sale in 2014.

A.S. Watson's listing would likely be jointly in Hong Kong and London, but no decision has been made. Singapore was also competing for a slice of what could be the world's biggest retail sector IPO, the report said.

Bankers and analysts told Reuters in October that A.S. Watson's IPO could be valued at about $23 billion. If 25% of A.S. Watson is floated, which is a standard Hong Kong IPO percentage, it could raise close to $6 billion.

A.S. Watson owns more than 11,000 retail stores around the world. Hutchison is a conglomerate controlled by Asia's richest man, Li Ka-shing, the report said.

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