Chinese clothing retailer eyes $500m IPO in the city

Chinese urban outdoor brand Beneunder, which is backed by Sequoia Capital, plans to raise up to US$500 million (HK$3.9 billion) in an initial public offering in Hong Kong.

The Shenzhen-based company is seeking to raise between US$300 million and US$500 million in the equity sale, Reuters International Financing Review reported.

Founded in 2013, the company started its business producing double-layered umbrellas to protect against the sun, and now offers a wide range of outdoor clothing and accessories, including hats and shoes, according to a regulator filling.

Beneunder said it was the biggest sun-protective clothing brand in China by total retail sales and online retail sales in 2021, citing a report from China Insights Consultancy.

Its online retail sales of sun-protective clothing in 2021 were five times that of the second-largest brand, according to CIC.

The company posted revenue of 2.41 billion yuan (HK$2.97 billion) last year, up from 794 million yuan in 2020.

Revenue from non-solar products increased fivefold to 495.7 million yuan in 2021, with the contribution to total revenue increasing from 0.7% in 2019 to 20.6% in 2021.

Beneunder posted an adjusted profit of 136 million yuan last year.

China International Capital Corporation and Morgan Stanley are joint sponsors of the proposed offering.

Meanwhile, Chinese online Q&A site Zhihu (2390) yesterday opened its retail book for a dual-prime listing in Hong Kong that could fetch up to HK$1.34 billion.

The Beijing-based company raised around 14.29 million via margin financing on the first day of the offering.

The Tencent-backed company (0007), which plans to debut on April 22, has issued 26 million Class A shares not exceeding HK$51.8 each, with a minimum investment of HK$5,232.2 per lot of 100 shares. Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, China International Capital Corporation and CMB International are the co-sponsors of the agreement.

The company had an average monthly active user of 99.6 million in the last quarter of last year and an average monthly visitor number of 500 million, it said in the preliminary prospectus.

Anne G. Cash