Hutchison conducting strategic review of HK supermarket chain

HONG KONG (REUTERS) – Hutchison Whampoa, controlled by Asia’s richest man, Mr Li Ka-shing, said on Saturday it is conducting a strategic review of its Hong Kong supermarket chain ParknShop.

Hutchison, which has interests from ports to telecommunications, said in a statement it was conducting the review to “optimise value for shareholders”, but had not set a timetable for completion. It is not clear if a transaction would result from the review, it said.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Hutchison had hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs to sell the business, which could fetch between US$1 billion (S$1.25 billion) and US$2 billion.

Hutchison made the decision to sell the chain last month, the report said, adding that details of the company and the sale would be sent to potential bidders soon.

Goldman declined to comment. Bank of America could not be reached for immediate comment.

ParknShop, which also has operations in Macau and China, operates 345 stores and had revenues of HK$21.7 billion (S$3.5 billion) last year, Hutchison said.

ParknShop is 100 percent owned by A S Watson & Co Limited, which is a subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa.