Temasek deal dashes hopes for Superdrug's London float

 

A multi-billion pound deal between Asia’s wealthiest man Li Ka-shing and a Singaporean government fund has scuppered immediate hopes of a London float for Superdrug.

Li’s Hutchison Whampoa had been planning to list retail group AS Watson, owner of high street chains Superdrug, Savers and The Perfume Shop, in London and Hong Kong.

But today it sold a 25 per cent stake in the group to Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek for HK$44 billion (£3.4 billion). It said this “completed its strategic review of the options for maximising the value of AS Watson”.

That comes as a blow to the London Stock Exchange, which had been selected for the dual-listing alongside the Hong Kong stock exchange.

It will also be a blow to the bankers advising on the IPO — Bank of America Merrill Lynch, DBS, Goldman Sachs and HSBC — who would have been in line for hefty fees if the share offer had gone ahead.

Today’s deal values AS Watson at around £13.8 billion, higher than the suggested £12 billion valuation. The market had expected the group to list a stake in the business by the end of the year but the deal with Temasek allows Li to cash in part of his investment without going through the drawn-out process of a float.

Hutchison said it will pay a special dividend of HK$7 a share after the deal.

Canning Fok, group managing director at Hutchison Whampoa, said: “We are pleased to have Temasek, a renowned international investor, as our long-term partner. This demonstrates their confidence in the growth opportunities and prospects of our retail businesses.”

The Hutchison Temasek joint venture confirmed that in the longer term they would “work together towards listing AS Watson at a suitable time”.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you looking to take your ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Exciting career prospect for ...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935