HWL unlocks value of retail arm

HWL unlocks value of retail arm

Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL) has sold a 24.95% stake in its retail division, AS Watson, to Singapore's state investment agency Temasek for HK$44bn (US$5.67bn).

The deal values AS Watson at HK$177bn. The division's interests span the beauty and personal care, food and wine retail sectors. The business operates a number of banners, including ParknShop supermarkets and Watsons beauty stores.

"The transaction will allow HWL to partially unlock the value of AS Watson as well as set an important valuation benchmark for HWL's remaining interests," the company said.

HWL added the investors have agreed to work together towards listing AS Watson "at a suitable time".

"Together with our strategic partner Temasek, HWL will further maximise the value and future growth potential of AS Watson," the company said.

HWL had been considering options for its retail business after backing out of a potential sale of its ParknShop supermarket chain last year. At the time, the company said it planned to exploit growth opportunities in mainland China.