KFC-Pizza Hut operator may be eyeing HK listing with help of CICC, Goldman

HONG KONG: Yum China Holdings Inc is working with China International Capital Corp and Goldman Sachs Group Inc on the preparations of its proposed second listing in Hong Kong, according to people familiar with the matter.

The operator of Pizza Hut and KFC restaurants in China is working with the banks on the share sale, which could take place as soon as this year, said the people, who asked not to be identified.

Details of the proposed offering could still change as deliberations are at an early stage, the people said.

A representative for Goldman Sachs declined to comment, while representatives for Yum China and CICC didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The New York-listed Yum China could follow the footsteps of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, which raised about US$13 billion in a Hong Kong share sale in November, setting the stage for overseas-listed Chinese companies to seek a second listing closer to home.

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd is discussing with Chinese technology firms including Trip.com Group Ltd and NetEase Inc. for possible share sales in the city, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News earlier this month.

IFR reported last week that Yum China is considering a listing in Hong Kong which could raise as much as US$2 billion, citing unidentified people.

Yum China was spun off from Louisville, Kentucky-based Yum! Brands Inc in 2016.

The unit, which also operates Mongolian hotpot chain Little Sheep as well as Taco Bell in China, had more than 8,900 restaurants across the world’s second-largest economy as of the end of September. It hired about 450,000 people in the country, according to its latest presentation.

The company in August agreed to buy a controlling stake in Huang Ji Huang Group, a Chinese-style simmer pot restaurant operator.

Yum China rejected a buyout offer from an investor group led by Hillhouse Capital Corp in 2018, Bloomberg News reported at that time.