(Bloomberg) — Chinese hotpot ingredients supplier Guoquan is weighing an initial public offering as soon as next year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
IDG Capital, one of the company’s major backers, has held preliminary discussions with banks on the potential offering, which could raise $400 million to $500 million, the people said. The company hasn’t decided on a listing venue but Hong Kong is among the destinations being considered, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.
Founded in 2017, Guoquan sells pre-packaged hotpot ingredients and condiments at its retail shops as well as via online platforms such as Meituan Dianping, according to its website. The company runs 3,600 shops across China and aims to increase the number to 5,000 by the end of this year. It also supplies ingredients to restaurant chains.
Last month, Guoquan raised $60 million in a series C funding round from investors including IDG Capital and Genbridge Capital. The latest round took the hotpot ingredients supplier’s total fundraising to nearly 1 billion yuan ($144 million).
An offering by Guoquan could follow in the footsteps of fellow Chinese food companies such as Haidilao International Holding Ltd. and Jiumaojiu International Holdings Ltd. in seeking share sales in Hong Kong.
While the coronavirus outbreak has severely hurt the catering industry, including hotpot restaurant chain Haidilao, Guoquan said they have been less affected thanks to their focus on pre-packaged food sold to customers buying ingredients for home cooking. Sales at Guoquan jumped fourfold on a yearly basis so far in 2020, the company said.
Deliberations for the IPO are at an early stage and details such as timing and size could change, the people said. A representative for Guoquan did not respond to requests for comment. A representative for IDG Capital was not immediately able to comment.
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