Five firms advise ZJLD’s HKD5.3bn IPO in biggest HK listing this year

Five firms advise ZJLD

Davis Polk, King & Wood Mallesons (KWM), Conyers Dill & Pearman, Cleary Gottlieb and Haiwen & Partners, have advised on the largest IPO in Hong Kong to date this year.

China’s liquor brand ZJLD Group expects to raise HKD5.3 billion (USD676 million) ahead of its listing on 27 April, which will mark the largest IPO on the HKEX so far in 2023 and the second successful debut of a Chinese liquor company since 2016.

Leading partners He Li, Jason Xu, Chu Yang and Li Ran at Davis Polk offered legal advice on Hong Kong law, while KWM, which advised on PRC law, was led by partners Gong Mulong and Jiang Zhihui, along with Conyers Dill & Pearman acting as Cayman Islands counsel.

Cleary Gottlieb and Haiwen & Partners acted as Hong Kong and PRC counsel, respectively, to the joint sponsors and underwriters, which included Goldman Sachs, China Securities International, CICC and KKR Capital Markets.

Haiwen & Partners was led by partners Wei Shuangjuan and Du Ning.

Despite being priced at HKD10.82 per share, close to the lower end of the price range of HKD10.78, the public offering was 0.9 times oversubscribed, while the international offering was oversubscribed by 2.9 times.

To answer previous questions on non-compliance with environmental and employee social security regulations, ZJLD included a dedicated environmental, social and governance(ESG) section in its prospectus.

Frost & Sullivan said ZJLD ranked 14th among liquor companies in China with a 0.8% market share in 2021.

The company was incorporated in the Cayman Islands in 2021 and is presently 81.3% owned by Zhenjiu Holding and 16.2% by Zest Holdings, which is controlled by the KKR investment firm. Wu Xiangdong, the founder and chairman of the board of ZJLD, wholly owns Zhenjiu Holding.