Food giant COFCO Group’s online food products retailer COFCO Womai seeks to raise funds from an initial public offering at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the company said in a listing application Monday [21 August 2017]. Womai, backed by COFCO and Baidu, could raise $500 million to $600 million, said a report by Global Capital, which cited a banker with close knowledge of the trade…Full Article: ECNS.cn Aug 2017

Key Points

  • COFCO Womai sponsors include China Merchants Securities and Credit Suisse.
  • From 2014 to 2016, COFCO’s Womai reported annual losses of CNY 631 million (USD 95 million), 978 million [~USD 150 million] and 887 million [~USD 128 million], respectively.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In June 2017, COFCO Group’s e-commerce platform, Womai, began selling US beef for CNY 38 (USD 5.60) per 180 grams, which was 50% more than similar cuts of Australian beef. The beef was limited to only to residents of Beijing. In Shanghai, Alibaba’s Yiguo.com e-commerce platform was selling US beef (sirloin, rib-eye, etc.).
  • In October 2015, Chinese search engine company, Baidu, invested US$20 million in COFCO’s Womai e-commerce site. During the same month, Womai stated may launch an initial public offering (i.e. listed on a stock exchange) in 2017.
  • In August 2009, COFCO’s Womai (www.womai.com), an e-commerce food platform, was launched.
  • Founded in 1952 and headquartered in Beijing, COFCO is the largest supplier of products/services in the agricultural products and food industry in China. COFCO serves as the main importing and exporting channel for bulk agricultural products such as wheat, corn, rice and sugar. As an investment holding company specialized in trade and processing of oil and foodstuff as well as other businesses.

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