Chinese appliance maker braves Trump tariffs with plan to raise $381.8 million in HK IPO revival

10-Dec-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

JS Global Lifestyle Company, the Chinese appliance maker which gets almost half of its revenue from North America, is pushing ahead with its initial public offering in Hong Kong amid the looming threat of more US tariffs in the coming days.

The Hangzhou-based company plans raise about $332 million by selling 499.8 million shares at a fixed price of HK$5.20 each, according to a term sheet seen by the South China Morning Post. The proceeds could rise to $381.8 million if an overallotment of shares is fully exercised. The IPO is expected to price on December 12 and begin trading on December 18, sandwiching the December 15 deadline when more duties could kick in if both sides failed to reach a “phase one” agreement to ease the trade tension.

JS Global sells its appliances such as blenders, food processors, fryers and steam mops through online and offline platforms in China, including Alibaba’s Tmall, and Walmart China. It also sells directly to consumers in the US, Canada and the UK on its website and through relationships with Walmart, Target and It also sells robotic and cordless vacuums under the Shark brand after acquiring Massachusetts-based SharkNinja in 2017. North America accounted for 48.9 per cent of its revenue in 2018.

Vacuums and air fryers contributed 25.6 per cent to the group revenue in the first half of 2019, down from 31.8 per cent in all of 2018. These appliances are subject to 25 per cent customs duties in the US. Coffee makers attract a 15 per cent duties, while other products could see additional tariffs if both sides failed to reach a truce by December 15.

Trump announced on October 11 a “substantial phase one deal” to delay new tariffs after talks with China but an agreement has yet to be signed, and added last week that “no deadline” has been set.

The US-China trade war, which has raged for more than a year, has weighed on JS Global’s bottom line, as it sources its finished goods from suppliers in China for sale in the US.

Since last year, President Donald Trump has placed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese-made goods as he tries to force Beijing to change decades of industrial and trade policies.

JS Global said customs duties expenses amounted to $10.1 million in the first half of the year. To mitigate the increased duties, SharkNinja has partially passed on the increased costs to customers and is renegotiating with its suppliers, the company said. It may seek suppliers from outside China and manufacture some of its vacuums in Vietnam by the end of this year.

JS Global expects to preserve its gross profit margins under the current applicable maximum custom duties based on the effectiveness of its cost mitigation measures, according to its stock exchange filing on October 20.

JS Global is proceeding with its plan after delaying it in late October, according to news reports. Months of civil unrest and protests in Hong Kong have caused some companies to pause their offerings, while questions about valuations this fall prompted others including consumer finance lender Home Credit to delay listings on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Several companies have announced plans to proceed with road shows since Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding’s $12.9 billion secondary listing in Hong Kong last month. It was the biggest listing globally this year, until Saudi Aramco unveiled its $25.6 billion IPO on the Tadawul bourse, also last month. Alibaba is the owner of the Post.

The group reported a 6.3 per cent increase in net profit to $21.9 million in the first half this year, compared with the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 7.8 per cent to $1.24 billion. Under its Hong Kong IPO plan, CM Kinder and Red Avenue are expected to act as cornerstone investors with combined outlay of $130 million. Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and ICBC are acting as joint sponsors on the offering.

The company expects to use the proceeds to partially repay debt, for research and development and for general corporate purposes. The original listing plan was to raise as much as $464 million before it was halted.


Category: Hong Kong

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