HONG KONG (Reuters) — Chinese sports brand Li Ning Co Ltd said it planned to raise up to 1.69 billion Hong Kong dollars, or $218 million, in an open offer of shares to support its next stage of growth and optimize its capital structure.


“Next year will mark the beginning of the group’s growth phase,” founder and chairman Li Ning said in a statement.


The share issue will help the group develop new products, boost its competitiveness and “improve overall retail operational capability”, he added.


Li Ning, which faces stiff competition from Chinese rivals including Anta Sports Products Ltd as well as international peers like Nike Inc, plans to issue up to 651.9 million shares in the proportion of 5 offer shares for every 12 existing shares held.


The shares will be issued at 2.60 Hong Kong dollars ($0.34) each, representing a 21.92 percent discount to the previous close.


Shareholders including Viva China Holdings Ltd, TPG, GIC and Milestone Capital Strategic Holdings Ltd have given irrevocable undertakings to the company.


Trading in Li Ning shares, which were suspended on Dec. 12, will resume on Wednesday.


In August, the Chinese sportswear maker said that with the “first phase” of a turnaround plan complete, it planned to focus on boosting its brand image.

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