A Chinese company controlled by Li Ning plans to buy a controlling stake in Hong Kong-listed apparel group Bossini, with plans to expand the business in Mainland China. A venture called Viva China will buy 1.09 billion shares in Bossini, paying just HK$ 46.6 million (US$ 6 million) for 66.6% of Bossini’s issued capital, effectively buying out the family interests of Bossini’s founder Law Ting-pong. After that deal is concluded, the buyer is required under Hong Kong stock exchange rules to offer to buy out the remaining shareholders, which would lead to the company’s privatisation. However, in a stock exchange filing, Viva China said it intends to maintain the company’s listing.
The offer for Bossini’s shares represents a discount of 71% to the 14.8 cents Bossini shares last traded at and an 87.39% discount to its December net asset value of US$ 560.2 million. The offer reflects “the deteriorating financial performance of Bossini Group and its widening loss in the latest financial years (2018 net loss of US$ 29 million; 2019 net loss of US$ 139.1 million),” according to the filing. A further loss is expected in the current trading year, with the company recording a US$ 93 million deficit in the first half.
Viva China Group is principally engaged in sports competition, event production and facilities management, esports, sports-talent management and last year expanded into the development, design and sale of sports, health and leisure consumables. As part of that plan, the company has been actively seeking investment in an apparel brand.