Hong Kong City’super Owner Explores Majority Stake Sale

(Bloomberg) -- The Fenix Group is exploring the sale of a majority stake in the operator of high-end supermarket chain City’super, in a deal that could fetch $300 million to $400 million, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Hong Kong-based company is working with a financial adviser to gauge interest in its stake in City Super Group from potential buyers, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.

City Super Group, founded in 1996, has 21 stores in Hong Kong, seven in Shanghai and seven in Taiwan across its three brands, according to its website. Its City’super groceries are in prominent Hong Kong locations like IFC Mall, just below two gleaming skyscrapers that house the offices of global banks like UBS Group AG.

The company’s LOG-ON stores sell cosmetics, stationery, gadgets and clothing. It also has CookedDeli dining courts inside its supermarkets.

A potential deal could come after months of pro-democracy protests took a toll on tourism and consumer spending in Hong Kong, sending the city into its first recession in a decade. The government is preparing to spend “boldly” to shore up the finance hub’s tumbling economy, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said in an interview.

Fenix, set up by Japanese entrepreneur Masaaki Ogino, provided funding for the formation of City Super Group and still owns the majority stake in the business. Peter Woo, a billionaire and former chairman of Hong Kong landlord Wheelock & Co., owned about 39% of the company, according to an exchange filing in 2017.

Deliberations are at an early stage, and Fenix could decide to keep the business, the people said. Representatives for Fenix and City Super said they have no immediate comment.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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