© Reuters. Alibaba’s (BABA) grocery stores operator Freshippo pursuing Hong Kong IPO, could be valued upward of $10B
By Vlad Schepkov
Freshippo, the grocery unit of Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), has commenced preparations for an IPO in Hong Kong, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
According to people familiar with the matter, the grocery chain operator, known in China as Hema Xiansheng, has tapped investment banks including China International Capital Corp. and Morgan Stanley to explore a potential share sale.
The size, valuation and timing of the offering remain under consideration, and the plan is “still at an early stage and a listing might not happen until next year or later,” although sources did say the company “was considering raising funds at a valuation of $10 billion” back in January 2022.
Freshippo operates a Sam’s Club-like (WMT) supermarket model, currently has over 270 stores and reportedly turned profitable in 2022.
If confirmed, it is set to become the second of Alibaba’s business units to pursue a separate listing after Cainiao, BABA’s logistics arm, which reportedly began preparations for its own $20B+ market debut back in March.
The move follows the mid-March announcement by the Chinese e-commerce giant outlining its plan to split the business into six key units, and allow each one to pursue an IPO.
Shares of BABA are trading over 1% lower in pre-market on Wednesday.