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Consumer

'China's P&G' Blue Moon cleans up in $1.2bn Hong Kong IPO

Detergent maker attracts bets on post-COVID consumer spending growth

HONG KONG -- Chinese detergent maker Blue Moon Group Holdings has raised 9.6 billion Hong Kong dollars ($1.24 billion) in its initial public offering here, drawing investors bullish for a post-pandemic economic recovery on the mainland.

Shares opened 16% above the offering price Wednesday, and closed the Hong Kong session up 13%. The company plans to spend the funds on new production equipment and on expanding its sales network.

Blue Moon, based in Guangzhou, is China's largest seller of liquid detergents and soaps by market share. The consumer products group, which has drawn comparisons to Procter & Gamble, also offers products like hand sanitizer.

The coronavirus pandemic is now mostly under control in China, fueling hopes for a rebound in consumer spending there. The retail portion of Blue Moon's IPO was roughly 300 times oversubscribed as investors rushed for a piece of one of the mainland's leading consumer brands.

Blue Moon logged HK$2.4 billion in revenue and HK$300 million in net profit for the January-June half, according to the prospectus.

The debut has made Blue Moon chair Pan Dong one of China's richest women, with her 77% stake now worth $8.6 billion, Bloomberg reported.

The former chemistry teacher has been instrumental to Blue Moon's expansion, along with her husband and company founder Luo Qiuping.

The company becomes the latest mainland consumer brand to make a splash on the Hong Kong exchange. The September IPO of Nongfu Spring, China's largest bottled water company, was oversubscribed by about 1,100 times and made its founder Zhong Shanshan the country's richest person.

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