Nirvana Asia’s IPO looks at strong HK debut

Burial services visual at company website

Nirvana Asia Ltd, headed for an initial public offering (IPO) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (Dec 17), could see a strong debut as its IPO shares have been more than 50 times over-subscribed.

The Malaysia-based integrated funeral services company said the shares were “very significantly over-subscribed” at 51.7 times the number of shares available for subscription, according to the South China Morning Post.

The offer price has been fixed at HK$3.00 a share, at the bottom of its indicative range between HK$3.00 and HK$3.38. At that offer price, the IPO is set to raise HK$1.91 billion ($246 million).

The offer price also indicated that the company would be marketed at 17.8 times its 2015 forecast earnings.

CIMB Investment Bank Bhd, UBS AG and DBS are the lead banks for the exercise.

Nirvana will be the first foreign company, beyond the Greater China region, to list in Hong Kong in the past 12 months.

The company said that 40 per cent of the proceeds, or HK$763 million, would be used to establish new cemeteries, columbarium facilities and funeral homes in new markets through greenfield projects. The company tried to enter the Cambodian funeral services market in 2008 but withdrew the plan.

About one fourth of the proceeds, or HK$477 million, would be used for increasing the capacity of the company’s existing cemeteries and other facilities through land acquisitions and new construction.

The company said (in the  filing) that it would target development in China after entering into a memorandum of understanding this year with a mainland cemetery operator; and was considering the development of land in Guangdong province.

Another 25 per cent of the IPO funds will be used to acquire existing death-care-services providers in Asia, including Malaysia, mainland China and Hong Kong.

According to Finance Asia, Beijing-based insurer Taikang Life Insurance and private equity firm Viewfinder were the cornerstones investors, each pledging HK$232.5 million ($30 million) in the company.

Shanghai-based funeral firm Fu Shou Yuan International Group was listed in Hong Kong last December in a $215 million IPO nearly 700 times oversubscribed. Its share price jumped a whopping 44.7 per cent at its debut on December 19, 2013.

Nirvana is going to the market, at a discount when compared to to Fu Shou Yuan but is valued similarly with the Taiwanese cemetery operator Lung Yen Life Service, Finance Asia reported. Fu Shou Yuan was last traded at HK$3.89 while Lung Yen was traded at TW$95.70.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.