China's Universal prices IPO at $447M as HKEx shows attraction to healthcare

China's Universal Medical Financial & Technical Advisory Services priced its IPO at $447 million, FinanceAsia reported, showing further the ability of healthcare-focused companies, including biotechs, to raise cash on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Cheng Yu-tung

The firm, which leases medical equipment, is backed by billionaire Cheng Yu-tung and originally said it was seeking as much as $546 million via the Hong Kong listing.

Raising money on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by China-focused drug and medical firms has shown some momentum in the past two months. Last month, Zhongzhi Pharmaceutical made a global offering of 200 million shares at a maximum price of HK$3.08 each and 3SBio raised $710 million in a return to the markets two years after delisting from the NASDAQ.

In the case of Universal Medical, even the middle of the range was seen as positive against a backdrop of turmoil in Greece and volatile trading in China-focused shares, FinanceAsia noted.

FinanceAsia, citing sources, said Universal Medical priced 423.2 million shares at HK$8.18 each, with the possibility of an overallotment option that could bring the total to $513.7 million.

Of particular interest was the enthusiasm of retail investors in Hong Kong, with the public offering oversubscribed by 53 times, triggering a 40% retail claw back, a source close to the deal told FinanceAsia.

FinanceAsia also said a handful of large institutional investors from the U.K., Europe and U.S. came into the deal initially marketed at a range of HK$7.68 and HK$10 per unit.

Nomura and Goldman Sachs were the joint lead advisors to the IPO.

- here's the story from FinanceAsia
- and an initial Hong Kong Stock Exchange release (PDF)
- as well as the Universal Medical website