Cayman Islands: Cayman Asia M&A Report H1 2018

Last Updated: 12 October 2018
Article by David Lamb, Richard Hall, Flora Wong, Anna W.T. Chong, Teresa Tsai, Richard D. Fear, Christopher W.H. Bickley and Kevin Butler

Most Popular Article in Cayman Islands, October 2018

We are pleased to present this Cayman Asia M&A Market Report which recaps merger and acquisition activity involving Cayman public companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong ("SEHK") for the first half of 2018.

Volume of Acquisitions Decreases, Value Increases

Conyers is particularly active in this space and leads the Asian market in advising on Mergers & Acquisitions. Following a slow 2017, the first half of 2018 displayed signs of a similar pattern, with 43 Cayman company acquisitions reported in H1 2018, compared with 73 from the previous year. However, the aggregate deal value reached HK$47.3 billion (US$6.028 billion) for this period, more than double the value when compared with the first half of last year.

Notable transactions for the first six months of 2018 include the US$3.94 billion hostile bid for China Biologic; Shenzhen Investment Holdings Co., Ltd.'s acquisition of a 66.69% stake in Hopewell Highway Infrastructure Limited for HK$9.865 billion (approximately US$1.26 billion) and its purchase of a further 24.5% stake for HK$3.6 billion (US$461.34 million). Country Garden Holdings Company Limited also completed its spin-off and subsequent listing of Country Garden Services Holdings Company Limited for HK$24.4 billion (approximately US$3.1 billion).

Cayman Public Company Listings Increases

Cayman public companies listed on the SEHK grew to 1,170 in the first half of 2018, representing a 10% increase since the end of 2017. Conversely, the market cap was HK$12.25 trillion (US$1.56 trillion), a decrease of HK$250 billion (US$31.8 billion) since 2017. Despite this, for the end of the first half of 2018, 50% of all SEHK listings were Cayman companies (2% increase on 2017), with an average market cap of HK$11 billion (US$1.4 billion).

Whilst growth in Asian M&A activity remains slow, with deal volume declining. The first half of 2018 displayed an upwards trajectory in both deal value and number of Cayman public companies listed on the SEHK.

This report provides details of transactions and statistical information about the size and growth of the Cayman public companies market in Asia, which we hope will be of interest to our clients and Cayman market followers.

Notable Transactions

JANUARY

  • Investor Gao Yunghong acquired an ownership stake in Hong Kong contracting and project management company FDB Holdings Limited (now known as Dafy Holdings Limited) (SEHK:1826) for HK$23.6 million (approximately US$3 million), bringing his total holdings in the company to 70%. #majoritycontrol
  • An unknown buyer acquired a 14.63% stake in Hong Kong food distributor Asia Grocery Distribution Limited (SEHK:8413) from Glory Concord Limited, Wong Siu Man and Wong Siu Wa for an undisclosed sum.
  • Majority shareholder Zhang Jinbing increased his ownership stake in Hong Kong concrete placement company Chong Kin Group Holdings Limited (SEHK:1609) with the purchase of 40,000 shares from public shareholders for HK$50,000 (approximately US$10,000). #majoritystakeincrease
  • An undisclosed investor acquired an unknown stake in Nanjing, PRC life sciences company Genscript Biotech Corporation (SEHK:1548) from KPCB China for an undisclosed sum.
  • An undisclosed buyer acquired a 4.5% stake in Yichun, PRC mining company Wanguo International Mining Group Limited (SEHK:3939) from Achieve Ample Investments Limited and Victor Soar Investments Limited for HK$56.4 million (approximately US$7.21 million).
  • Investor Ng Kwok Wing Michael acquired a 5.19% stake in Hong Kong food distributor and lender Celebrate International Holdings Limited (SEHK:8212) for HK$13.5 million (approximately US$1.73 million), bringing his total holdings in the company to 64.66%. #majoritystakeincrease
  • Sun Jiangtao, Chief Executive Officer of China Binary Sale Technology Limited (SEHK:8255), acquired an additional 21.2% stake in the Beijing online transaction services company from Swift Well Limited for HK$50.9 million (approximately US$6.5 million). With this acquisition Jiangtao achieves majority control with 51% of shares held. #majoritycontrol
  • Sino Wisdom Ventures Limited acquired a 28.71% stake in Hong Kong watch designer and manufacturer Ernest Borel Holdings Limited (SEHK:1856) from Sense Control International Limited for HK$160 million (approximately US$20.42 million).
  • Colour Day Limited, Wise Aloe Limited and Smart Mission Investments Limited acquired a 74.48% stake in Shanghai, PRC integrated marketing communications company Branding China Group Limited SEHK:863) from Always Bright Enterprises Limited, Jolly Win Management Limited, Lapta International Limited and others for HK$600 mill ion (approximately US$78.59 million). #crossborder #majoritycontrol
  • Qingda Developments Limited acquired a 0.35% stake in Midas International Holdings Limited (SEHK:1172) for HK$4.6 million (approximately US$0.59 million), bringing Qingda's total stake in the Hong Kong commer cial printing company to 100%. #crossborder #majoritycontrol
  • Investor Woo Pui Kei Betty acquired a 9% stake in Hong Kong residential care home operator Hang Chi Holdings Limited (SEHK:8405) from Mok Pui Yin Terry for HK$36 million (approximately US$4.6 million).
  • Li Qingli, an Executive Director of China U-Ton Holdings Limited (SEHK:6168), sold a 5.57% stake in the Shijiazhuang, PRC headquartered optical fibre company for HK$110 million (approximately US$14.16 million).

FEBRUARY

  • Source Mega Limited and Zhang Chun Hua acquired an additional 5.35% stake in Hong Kong jewellery and herbal medicine retailer Prosten Health Holdings Limited (now known as China Brilliant Global Limited) (SEHK:8026) from Pei Chuang, Will City Limited and other shareholders for HK$18.1 million (approximately US$2.32 million). #crossborder #majoritystakeincrease #minoritystakeincrease
  • Two undisclosed investors acquired a 4.8% stake in Hong Kong IT consultancy ICO Group Limited (SEHK:1460) from Friends True Limited for an undisclosed sum.
  • Central China Dragon Global Opportunity Fund SP1 acquired a 6.04% stake in Yining, PRC gold mining and processing company Hengxing Gold Holding Company Limited (SEHK:2303) for an undisclosed sum.
FEATURED DEAL

China Biologic rejects take-private bid in favour of issuing new shares

Following last year's privatisation of Bloomage BioTechnology Corporation Limited for HK$3 billion, there was further activity in the first half of 2018 in the biopharmaceutical sector with a rare hostile bid.

The Board of China Biologic Holdings Inc rejected competing take-private bids, one from a consortium led by CITIC Capital at US$110 per share and another from a consortium led by the ousted former chairman and CEO of China Biologic, David GAO, at US$118 per share (valuing the company at US$3.94 billion) and instead issued 5.85 million shares at US$100.90 to the CITIC Capital consortium, raising US$590 million in a contentious private placement which saw the share price plummet to US$85.

The private placement is now the subject of legal action in the Grand Court in the Cayman Islands.

Conyers provides Cayman Islands legal advice to the consortium led by David GAO who issued the proceedings.

China Biologic engages in the research, development, manufacture and sale of human plasma-based biopharmaceutical products to hospitals and inoculation centers in the People's Republic of China.
(Partner, David Lamb)
  • Colour Shine Investments Limited acquired a 51.32% stake in Hong Kong rock drilling tool company Yuk Wing Group Holdings Limited (SEHK:1536) from Chan Leung Choi and Chan Kin Choi for HK$381.41 million (approximately US$48.78 million). #crossborder
  • Investor Tang Yau Sing acquired a 25.4% stake in Hong Kong Winto Group (Holdings) Limited (SEHK:8238) from Yuan Chao, Perfect Wood Limited and other shareholders for HK$130 million (approximately US$16.22 million). Tang Yau Sing now holds a 54.7% stake in the Chinese language lifestyle magazine publisher. #majoritycontrol
  • Investor Li Hok Yin acquired a 5% stake in F8 Enterprises (Holdings) Group Limited (SEHK:8347) from Grand Tycoon Limited for HK$14.8 million (approximately US$1.89 million). Grand Tycoon held 67% of shares in the Hong Kong oil sale and transport company at the close of this transaction.
  • Greatly Success Investment Trading Limited acquired an additional stake in Golden Faith Group Holdings Limited (SEHK:2863) from Superior Ace Investments Limited for HK$25 million (approximately US$3.2 million) bringing their total holdings in the Hong Kong electrical and ELV company to 29.63%. #minoritystakeincrease
  • Investor Huang Liming acquired a 42.35% stake in Kong Shum Union Property Management (Holding) Limited (now known as Heng Sheng Holdings Limited) (SEHK:8181) from China Mobile Games and Entertainment Group Limited for HK$137 million (approximately US$17.59 million), bringing his stake in the Hong Kong property management services company to 72.46%.

MARCH

  • Investors Xu Chujia, Xu Chusheng, Hui Chor Tak, Zhang, Xu Jiaoli, Xu Weizhen and Xu Weixia acquired a 51.7% stake in Hong Kong headquartered trading company Sanroc International Holdings Limited (now known as Zhaobangji Properties Holdings Limited)(SEHK:1660) from Lion Spring Enterprises Limited for HK$309.93 million (approximately US$39.6 million). #leveragedbuyout #minoritystakeincrease
  • Four individual investors acquired an 11% stake in F8 Enterprises (Holdings) Group Limited (SEHK:8347) from Grand Tycoon Limited for HK$32.6 million (approximately US$4.15 million). Grand Tycoon's share in the Hong Kong oil company is now reduced to 56%.

APRIL

  • Shenzhen Investment Holdings Co., Ltd. acquired a 66.69% stake in Hong Kong highway construction company Hopewell Highway Infrastructure Limited (SEHK:737) from Hopewell Holdings Limited ((SEHK:737) from Hopewell Holdings Limited (SEHK:54) for HK$9.865 billion (approximately US$1.26 billion). #crossborder
  • An undisclosed buyer acquired a 10.34% stake in Xiangyang, PRC headquartered marble mining operation Future Bright Mining Holdings Limited (SEHK:2212) from Yang Xiaoqiu for HK$68 million (approximately US$8.66 million).
  • OP Financial Limited (SEHK:1140) acquired a 17.97% stake in Huizhou, PRC based lighting manufacturer and distributor NVC Lighting Holding Limited (SEHK:2222) from SAIF Partners (through its funds SB Asia Investment Fund II LP and SAIF Partners IV LP), Andrew Y. Yan and Lin Ho Pingon, for an undisclosed sum. #crossborder

  • Two unknown funds acquired an approximately 8.07% stake in Greentown China Holdings Limited (SEHK:3900) from Shou Bainian, an executive director of the Hangzhou, PRC headquartered real estate development company, for HK$2.1 billion (approximately US$269.72 million). The unknown funds now hold approximately 4.23% and 3.82% stakes in Greentown China Holdings Limited respectively.
  • Building materials manufacturer China Lesso Group Holdings Limited (SEHK:2128) acquired a 26.28% stake in Foshan, PRC headquartered Xingfa Aluminium Holdings Limited (SEHK:98) from Luo Su and Luo Riming for HK$970 million (approximately US$124.02 million).
  • Investor Hui Ching Lau acquired an additional 7.01% stake in Jinjiang, PRC food manufacturer and distributor Qinqin Foodstuffs Group (Cayman) Company Limited (SEHK:1583) from Wu Huolu and Wu Yongde for HK$92 million (approximately US$11.72 million). #majoritystakeincrease
  • Investor Huang Li acquired a 52.14% stake in Hong Kong food and beverage service provider New Wisdom Holding Company Limited (SEHK:8213) from Chan Kin Chun Victor for HK$100 million (approximately US$12.74 million). #leveragedbuyout
  • Investors Ng Chi Lung, Ng Si Wing and Ng Yin acquired a 4.79% stake in Hong Kong based Hua Xia Healthcare Holdings Limited (SEHK:8143) from two unknown sellers for HK$14.9 million (approximately US$1.89 million). #minoritystakeincrease
  • Yoho Bravo Limited acquired a 75% stake in Hong Kong semiconductor company Top Dynamic International Holdings Limited (SEHK:2203) from Chow Hin Keong and Chow Hin Kok for HK$600 million (approximately US$76.45 million). #crossborder
  • Investor Sun Jiangtao acquired an additional 25.12% stake in Beijing online transaction services company China Binary Sale Technology Limited (SEHK:8255) for HK$60.3 million (approximately US$7.71 million), bringing his stake in the company to 51%. #majoritycontrol
  • Greatwalle Holding Limited acquired a 16.36% stake in Hong Kong security company King Force Group Holdings Limited (SEHK:8315) from Chen Yunchuo on April 30, 2018 for HK$48.2 million (approximately US$6.15 million). On the same day, Greatwalle Holding Limited further acquired 6.64 million shares at HK$0.035 per share and 53.26 million shares at HK$0.036 per share on the market. At the close of this transaction, Greatwalle Holding Limited holds a 39.51% stake in King Force Group Holdings Limited. #minoritystakeincrease
  • Investor Chen Rongsheng acquired a 75% stake in Hong Kong construction and engineering company K.H. Group Holdings Limited (SEHK:1557) from Yeung Sau Ming Boris, Yue Suen Leung and Lau Tai Wah Gilbert for HK$600 million (approximately US$75.96 million). #leveragedbuyout #crossborder

MAY

  • Shenzhen Investment Holdings Co., Ltd. acquired a further 24.5% stake in Hong Kong highway construction company Hopewell Highway Infrastructure Limited (SEHK:737) for HK$3.6 billion (approximately US$461.34 million), bringing Shenzhen Investment Holdings Co., Ltd.'s stake in the company to 91.18%. #crossborder
  • Investors Zhu Guangping, Yao Yongjie and Trinity Gate Limited acquired a 72.29% stake in Singapore headquartered integrated building services company SHIS Limited (SEHK:1647) from Cheung Tsui Ling, Chua Seng Hai and Bek Poi Kiang for HK$650 million (approximately US$83.12 million). #crossborder
  • Investor Xu Hongwei acquired a 60.09% stake in Hong Kong leather product manufacturer and distributor Ascent International Holdings Limited (SEHK:264) from Mason Resources Finance Limited for HK$340 million (approximately US$43.42 million) and made an offer to acquire the remaining 39.31% stake in the company for approximately HK$230 million. #leveragedbuyout
  • Beijing Ruitao Technology Co., Ltd. acquired a 75% stake in Hong Kong restaurant chain operator Food Wise Holdings Limited (SEHK:1632) from Wong Che Kin and Wong Chui Ha Iris for HK$620 million (approximately US$78.64 million). #crossborder #familysuccession
  • Hui Ching Lau, Executive Director and Chairman of Qinqin Foodstuffs Group (Cayman) Company Limited (SEHK:1583) acquired a 20.91% stake in the Jinjiang, PRC headquartered food manufacturer and distributor for HK$270 million (approximately US$34.98 million). This increases his stake in the company to 40.97%. #minoritystakeincrease

JUNE

  • Investor Li Jie acquired a 27.5% stake in Singapore passenger car service Zheng Li Holdings Limited (SEHK:8283) from Kelvin Lim for HK$140 million (approximately US$17.52 million).
  • Eternity Finance Group Limited acquired an additional 23.93% stake in Hong Kong travel business Global Mastermind Holdings Limited (SEHK:8063) from China Healthwise Holdings Limited (SEHK:348) and Future Empire Limited for HK$153 million (approximately US$19.49 million), bringing their total stake in the company to 29.04%. #crossborder #minoritystakeincrease
FEATURED DEAL

Country Garden's spin-off and SEHK listing

Foshan, PRC based Country Garden Holdings Company Limited (SEHK:2007) completed the spin-off of and subsequent listing of property management services provider Country Garden Services Holdings Company Limited (SEHK:6098) on the main board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong for HK$24.4 billion (approximately US$3.1 billion). #spinoff

The spin-off and listing of Country Garden's property services unit on the SEHK represented an increase in deal activity involving construction and engineering companies. Approximately 21% of deals in H1 2018 involved this sector. The spin-off allowed Country Garden to further cement its position as China's largest property developer".


— Teresa Tsai, Partner

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Authors
Richard Hall
Christopher W.H. Bickley
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