Samsonite sells HK IPO shares at low end of range

AP News
Posted: Jun 10, 2011 8:01 AM

Samsonite International S.A. raised $1.25 billion by selling shares at the lower end of the proposed price range in its Hong Kong IPO, a person familiar with the deal said Friday, amid waning investor interest as stock markets slump.

The world's biggest luggage maker is selling 671.24 million shares at 14.50 Hong Kong dollars, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to comment officially.

That would raise HK$9.73 billion ($1.25 billion).

Samsonite said last week that the shares would be sold between HK$13.50 and HK$17.50, allowing it to raise up to $1.5 billion. But the band was narrowed to HK$14.50 to HK$15.50 on Thursday, the person said.

Luxembourg-based Samsonite is one of a number of foreign companies seeking Hong Kong listings this year as they seek to tap China's economic growth. But selling its shares at the low end of the range indicates investor interest may be cooling in the face of slumping share prices.

Asian markets were mostly lower Friday, continuing a weeklong slide. Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index was down 1.1 percent to 22,359.20 by early afternoon. The Hang Seng has dropped more than 6 percent in the past three months, according to data from FactSet.

Global stock markets have been slipping since mid-April as investors become concerned that the U.S. economy has hit a soft patch.

Other foreign companies that have listed in Hong Kong this year include Swiss commodities trader Glencore and Macau casino operator MGM China. Italian fashion house Prada and luxury handbag maker Coach also plan listings.

Samsonite's stock is scheduled to start trading on June 16.