Hong Kong fashion retailer I.T Ltd. agreed to go private in a cash deal worth about HK$1.3 billion ($168 million) with its business decimated by the pandemic and a shift to online retailing.
The deal, which is backed by private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, will see non-founder shares bought at HK$3 a piece in cash, according to a Hong Kong stock exchange filing. That’s about a 55 percent premium to the stock’s last closing price, the filing said. As part of the proposal, the founders will retain about 51 percent ownership, with CVC owning the remainder.
The company cited challenging market conditions, including a digital disruption to the retail industry and the Covid-19 outbreak as reasons for agreeing to the deal.
“These factors require the company to re-strategise, undertake a deeper business transformation and restructure in order to achieve long-term sustainable growth,” the filing said.
The retailer’s outlets also became targets in protests earlier this year because of a perceived pro-Beijing stance of one of its founders.
I.T has applied for a resumption of trading in Hong Kong on Monday. Shares had been halted November 30 pending the announcement.
The deal is still subject to shareholder approval.
Morgan Stanley is advising the offeror.
By Eric Lam