The founder and chairman of Dali Foods Group plans to take the Chinese bakery and beverage business private.
Xu Shihui, through his investment vehicle Rongshi International Investment, has put forward a proposal to shareholders to delist the company from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by way of a so-called scheme of arrangement.
Fujian, Quanzhou-based Dali Foods listed on the bourse in 2015.
Revenue and profits fell in the company’s financial year to 31 December, although the results are not a factor cited as being behind the delisting plan in a joint stock-exchange filing from the investment company and Dali Foods.
The company posted revenue of 20bn yuan ($2.7bn), down 10.5% on the corresponding 12 months, according to its annual report. EBITDA dropped 18.4% to 4.8bn yuan and net profit fell 19.7% to 3bn yuan.
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The plan envisages the cancellation of what Dali Foods terms as ‘scheme shares’ but would not include the interests held by the company’s trustees.
Upon the scheme becoming effective, Rongshi International would hold 96.11% of the shares and the trustees would retain their 3.89% interest.
Xu and his family own 85% of the business, equating to around 11.6 billion shares of the approximately 13.6 billion in issue, according to the filing. Bloomberg reported that Rongshi International is “wholly owned by the billionaire”.
Post-transaction, “the scheme shares (other than the founder shares) will be cancelled in exchange for the payment of the cancellation price of HK$3.75 in cash for each such scheme share”, according to the filing.
The shares closed at HK$3.50, or 44 US cents, in Hong Kong today (4 July).
Dali Foods’ portfolio features such products as biscuits and bread, puffed snacks, soy milk drinks and herbal teas.