China's Peak Sport says may be taken private, shares soar
today May 25, 2016
Chinese sportswear maker Peak Sport Products, which has several U.S. basketball sponsorship and endorsement deals, said it may be taken private and delist from Hong Kong, joining a growing queue of mainland firms looking to exit the city's stock market.
Investment firm Ever Sound Development Ltd, Peak's controlling shareholder, is considering plans to take the company private, though no final decision has been made yet.
The news, announced in a filing late on Tuesday, sent Peak Sport shares sharply higher on Wednesday. The shares were up 14 percent in late-afternoon after trading as much as 20 percent higher earlier.
Peak joins at least 10 Chinese companies with Hong Kong listings that have unveiled plans to either delist, spin off assets and list them in China or sell a controlling stake to a mainland-listed company since November 2015.
Several companies, including Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties, have said a listing in China would allow for better valuations.
Peak was among 38 Hong Kong-listed Chinese companies that investment bank UBS identified in a report last month as potential delisting candidates because they had similar characteristics to those recently exiting the market.
The criteria used to create the list included a negative share price performance since listing, a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) multiple below 30 and where founders own more than 40 percent of the companies, UBS said in the report.
Ever Sound Development owns 61.19 percent of Peak Sport, according to the latter's filing. Peak Sport chairman Xu Jingnan said in the filing "preliminary consideration is still in progress" on the take-private plan, without disclosing any reason for the move nor potential financial terms.
Ever Sound was not immediately available for comment.
Peak Sport is engaged in manufacturing and distribution of sports products, including footwear, apparel and accessories under the brand name PEAK.
A smaller rival to ANTA Sports Products and Li Ning Co, Peak saw its profit rise 22 percent in 2015, but expects a challenging 2016 amid slow consumer spending and fierce competition.
The company has sponsorship deals with U.S. basketball teams Houston Rockets, Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs and players including Tony Parker of the Spurs and Dwight Howard of the Rockets.
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