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Wilmar ‘aims for 2019 Chinese IPO’
Posted on Tuesday, 14 November 2017 07:54
Wilmar International is reportedly still working towards spinning off operations in China on a domestic exchange, with the Asian agribusiness giant aiming for an initial public offering (IPO) in the second half of 2019.

A senior executive told the Nikkei the Singaporean palm oil processor, which has the Kuok Group and agricultural trader Archer Daniels Midland as major shareholders, is leaning towards the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Wilmar revealed in May it was “carrying out an internal restructuring of its China operations with the possibility of a separate listing”, though it cautioned the process is still in the early stages.

In fact, the proposal has been on and off for years now; in 2009, for example, the Wall Street Journal reported the group had hired Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley and BOC International Holdings as bankers to the IPO.

However, plans by the Singaporean commodities juggernaut for a USD 3.50 billion float of its Chinese arm were scuppered by weak market conditions and poor trading debuts, which led to concerns over a valuation.

Fast forward to today, and operations in the country currently account for 48.3 per cent of the group’s total annual revenue of USD 41.40 billion, for the year ended 31st December 2016.

Wilmar’s activities span oil palm, oleochemicals, fertilisers and flour, and its business model encompasses the entire agricultural commodity chain, from cultivation, processing, merchandising to manufacturing.

The group entered China in 1993 through a joint venture with Top Glory Holding which, at the time, was the country’s first large, integrated oils and grains manufacturing complex.

According to its FY 2016 report, Wilmar is the largest edible oils refiner and speciality fats and oleochemicals manufacturer in China.

The company also claims to be the country’s leading oilseed crusher and producer of branded consumer pack oils and rice, and one of the biggest rice and flour millers.

© Zephus Ltd