ECOVAS Robotics Co., Ltd., a Chinese robot vacuum maker backed by IDG Capital has filed with the country’s securities regulator for an initial public offering (IPO) on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Founded in 1998 by Chinese entrepreneur Qian Dongqi, Jiangsu province-based ECOVACS was initially an electronics manufacturer making vacuums for Philips, Panasonic, and Electrolux as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
In 2000, the company moved up from the lower-end of the manufacturing factories to becoming a technology enterprise with in-house research and development capability to obtain core technology competence.
Since then, ECOVACS has continued to invest in research and development, while beginning to focus on robot vacuums and robot home appliances in 2004 after Qi saw iRobot’s popular robot cleaners.
At present, the company sells a range of products in over 30 countries including robot floor cleaner, robot window cleaner, mobile air cleaner, and humidifier, as well as home entertainment and security robots.
Currently employing more than 5,000 people with corporate offices in Canton Ohio, Dusseldorf Germany, Tokyo Japan and Suzhou city in China, ECOVACS claims to be China’s number one robot home appliances maker with a 65% market share.
In 2013, IDG Capital invested an undisclosed amount in ECOVACS in exchange for a 10 percent stake in the company. The venture firm’s stake was reduced to 9.12 percent as the company conducted a shareholder restructuring after it decided to list domestically, instead of the initial plan in the United States.
However, in spite of having filed an IPO prospectus to complete an IPO, companies in China must wait in queue for a few years before IPO, as there are currently over 800 companies waiting in line to be permitted to complete their listings.
By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media
Singaporean online fashion and lifestyle platform iFashion Group, announced today that it has acquired independent designer brands marketplace Megafash for S$3.15 million (about US$2.23 million).
This cash and shares deal follows iFashion’s previous purchase of lifestyle and fashion brands INVADE, Dressabelle and Nose, making Megafash its fourth acquisition to date – an effort to strengthen iFashion’s portfolio and pave the way for iFashion’s listing slated in April or May this year.
Following this acquisition, iFashion will also appoint Jeremy Khoo, the CEO, and founder of Dressabelle, an O2O fashion marketplace that it has acquired last year for US$5.5 million as its new CEO to drive the company to the next level.
Launched in December 2015 by Lau Kin-Wai and Douglas Gan, Megafash initially commenced as a fashion-focused platform, but later extended its services to include lifestyle and designer’s products. At present, iFashion has a strong presence in both the physical and e-commerce platform, with 7 outlets operating in more than 15,000 square feet of retail space.
Megafash has also positioned itself as a curated marketplace, working with more than 2,000 Indie brands internationally, in addition to a 30 percent of their in-store brands being sold exclusively through the Megafash platform which currently operates in Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand. In 2016, Megafash’s annualised revenue was reported to be S$8 million (about US$5.7 million).
“It’s an exciting time for us at Megafash. The brand has grown significantly, from 3 stores in 2015 to 7 stores currently. In times of economic downtown, we are pleased to say that our revenue grew five times from 2015. Megafash continues to grow as Singapore’s leading lifestyle marketplace. In fact, in December we received as many as 2,000 orders a day.” Jiawen Ngeow, the CEO AND Co-founder of Megafash said.
Backed by Fatfish Internet Group, Sovereign Capital, and Fashion DK Group among some, iFashion’s offers mentorship, marketing, logistics, warehousing, sales, fulfillment, and financial services for online entrepreneurs who aim to grow their respective businesses and widen their user base.
“Our acquisition of Megafash completes our line-up of brands for our IPO. We believe that the acquisition strengthens the iFashion group by extending our offerings from mainly fashion products to lifestyle. In the recent months, iFashion has seen continued growth and change, including the appointment of our new CEO. We look forward to an exciting time ahead of us, and we are thankful for the support,” said Jeneen Goh, the Corporate Affairs Vice President of iFashion Group.
As part of the expansion plans, Megafash is looking to expand operations overseas and to double its retail outlets in Singapore.
By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media
Tianmei Beverage Group Corporate Limited, a Chinese F&B company, is going through with its initial public offering (IPO) on the ASX board which is slated to be listed by February 2017.
Led by Phillip Capital, Tianmei’s IPO will see between 40 and 50 million new shares issued at the pricing of A$A0.20, which will raise the Chinese F&B company about A$8 to A$10 million.
Existing shareholders currently hold 120 million shares, in which its market capitalization post-IPO is estimated to be between A$32 and A$34 million with a free float cap of about 30 percent.
Based in Guangdong, Tianmei produces a range of premium bottled water products, as well as retailing fast-moving consumer (FMCG) products through an established network of 941 retail stores and supermarkets.
Aside from bottled spring water, the company also sells a range of 530-millilitre baby water branded under Tianmei label, which is targeted at parents. The bottle holds “premium” spring water that has undergone special treatment and packaged under high-pressure sterilisation.
As part of its public listing on the ASX, Tianmei is also in search of partnership with Australian producers to sell their products through the existing retail network to China, alongside Tianmei’s own range of beverages.
“Expanding to China has always been a challenge for Australian companies. China has a vast and diverse population spread over a huge area, which means that trading practices, dialects, and product regulations can vary greatly in different provinces – especially when you get into the outer regions. It’s a much bigger and more complicated market than Australia,” said Anthony Sherlock, the Australian Chairman of Tianmei Beverage Group.
At present, Tianmei has entered into MOUs with two Australian firms, a dairy producer that makes milk, butter, and yogurt products as well as a food and beverage distributor.
“The best way to do business in China is with a trusted intermediary that understands the landscape and already has strategic partnerships in place. Like most people, Chinese executives generally prefer to deal with people they are familiar with and who have an established track record,” Sherlock adds.
Moreover, given that Australia possesses a significant brand strength with regard to high health and environmental standards, this will bring benefits to the exportation of Australian FMCG products to China.
Proceeds from the IPO will be used to fund the acquisition of the Qianlifeng water processing plant in Hunan province, which Tianmei uses for water processing, in addition to working capital purposes, to drive product promotion in China, and to provide security of supply for the firm.
By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media
New Century Healthcare, a Beijing-based pediatric, obstetric and gynecological healthcare provider backed by Chinese alternative investment firm CDH Investments, has on Wednesday completed a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
The company shares were priced at HK$7.36 (US$0.94), that is at the midpoint of the share price guidance it issued for the 120 million shares which were within the range of HK$6.36 to HK$8.36
The hospital group has raised around HK$789 million (US$102 million) via the initial public offering in which it plans to use to open more hospitals and clinics in China’s major cities.
Specifically, the healthcare firm will further expand its coverage in Beijing and other first-tier cities and enhance its ability to provide high-quality medical services, to build up a world-class medical service institution.
“New Century Healthcare is one of the biggest children’s hospital operator in China,” said Huang Jingjing, a managing director at CDH’s innovation and growth fund. “It is a great addition to China’s public hospitals and fills a market void meeting demand from high-end clients.”
Founded in 2002, New Century Healthcare currently owns and operates three leading pediatric clinics in Beijing, including Beijing New Century (BNC) Children’s Hospital, BNC Womesn’s and Children’s Hospital and BNC Harmony Clinic.
The company said in its prospectus it focuses on the provision of mid to high-end women and children’s medical services and said it has accumulated in-depth expertise and experience in the public-private partnership arrangement with public hospitals.
Currently, there are 441 doctors in the group, among which more than 90 percent have obtained the attending physician title and above, possessing at least five years of pediatric outpatient service.
CDH Investments, which previously invested in Ciming Health Checkup Group, Luye Pharma Group Ltd. and a number of healthcare firms in China, held a 16.6% stake in New Century Healthcare before the IPO.
New Century Healthcare recorded earnings of RMB238 million, RMB249 million and RMB258 million from 2013 to 2015, respectively.
By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media
No financial details of the listing have been determined but it is said that the public offering is looking to sell a total of not more than 2.7 billion shares, to raise RMB 1.8 billion (about US$261 million).
Established in 2004, the Guangzhou-based furniture company is wholly involved in custom-made furniture production, from designing and providing information technology solutions to product sales, as well as developmental and technical services.
Besides, HomeKoo claims that it has incorporated online design services, virtual reality, and mobile internet technology in its manufacturing process to allow large-scale customisation.
Additionally, the company focuses on customised furniture as to meet the demands of the urban consumers, especially Chinese city dwellers who live in small apartments and requires customised furniture to allow for better space utilisation at a relatively low cost.
HomeKoo markets its products via franchised brick-and-mortar stores across the country and an online e-commerce platform HomeKoo.com. At present, the company has two major furniture brands, which are SPZP and Wayes.
Fortune Capital invested RMB70 million (about US$10.2 million) in HomeKoo back in 2009 to help the company expand. At the time of Fortune Capital’s investment, customized furniture held a 10% stake in the overall furniture market in China, and was growing at 20% annually.
The fund raised from the offering will be mainly used for four major aspects, which includes marketing and networking, establishing a one-stop O2O purchase service, creating an intelligent manufacturing production line, and supporting home product strategy.
The company claims that RMB111 million will be used in the construction of a home appliance factory in Foshan, southern China whereby it will be the dedicated modern logistics center to solve the inadequacy of the company’s existing storage capacity.
The modern logistics center will be a three-dimensional automated warehouse, occupying an area of 10696.47 square meters. The construction period is 18 months, and the logistics storage capacity and product turnover efficiency will be greatly improved after the project is put into production.
By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media