Belle International delists
As it heads for a digital revamp, Chinese footwear retailer Belle International has been privatised a decade after making its debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Belle, which distributes brands such as Adidas and Nike and sells its own brands like Joy & Peace and Staccato, was delisted after the market closed yesterday. The move came after a HK$45.3 billion (US$5.82 billion) offer to privatise the company was given court approval.
Following the privatisation, Hillhouse Capital has become Belle’s largest shareholder with a 57 per cent stake, while CDH Investments holds 12 per cent and Belle’s directors the balance.
Hillhouse has invested in Chinese internet giants such Baidu and Tencent Holdings, while CDH was a spin-off unit of Chinese Investment Capital Corporation, which has backed consumer businesses like Mengniu and WH Group, reports Nikkei Asian Review.
It says that while Belle had more than 20,000 stores across China, it was struggling to compete with online retailers and grappling with changing consumer preferences from dress shoes to sports shoes.
Losses in its fashion-shoe business dragged down Belle’s profit by 18 per cent in the year to February, the company posting its weakest annual earnings since 2008.