ITAT Group Ltd, a Chinese apparel manufacturer and retailer, hopes to raise at least $1 billion by floating shares in Hong Kong next April, the latest in a string of companies to seek a public listing in order to tap the world's largest apparel market.
"We will announce the IPO plan this month, probably next week," said Lai Meijin, ITAT Group's executive director.
The Shenzhen-based company has hired Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank to act as underwriters.
ITAT has secured a combined $120 million in two rounds of venture capital investments.
Blue Ridge China Partners, a Chinese venture investment firm, invested $50 million last November, followed by a $70 million capital injection in March by Morgan Stanley Principal Investments, US-based alternative investment firm Citadel Investment Group, and Blue Ridge China Partners, said Luo Bo, an ITAT spokesman.
ITAT's distinctive membership sales operation and zero inventory logistic management has earned investor interest, said Tang Yue, a partner in Blue Ridge and founder of eLong Inc, China's second-largest online travel service portal.
The company, which increased its outlets from 249 last year to the current 516, plans to use the capital raised to fund expansion.
After only three years operating on the mainland, the company has secured 3.5 million members.
The company initiated its IPO preparation after a string of retail and apparel companies made successful debuts on the Hong Kong stock exchange last month.
The companies include retail companies New World Department Store and two apparel makers, Stella International Holding and Anta Sports Products.
(China Daily August 3, 2007)