JD.com on Thursday filed applications for two initial public offerings in Hong Kong, as the Chinese e-commerce giant looks to spin off (but keep control of) its property and industrial services subsidiaries.
The group led by founder and chairman Richard Liu aims to list Jingdong Property, formerly known as JD Property Group, a unit that develops and manages logistics and business parks, according to a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange. As of December, the platform had assets under management of RMB 93.7 billion ($13.7 billion) and a total gross floor area of 23.3 million square metres (250.8 million square feet).
Plans call for also listing Jingdong Industrials, an asset-light provider of industrial supply chain technology and services and a partner of the JD Logistics fulfilment network. Focused on procurement of goods used in maintenance, repair and operations at manufacturers and distributors, the unit had a sector-leading gross merchandise value of RMB 22.3 billion in 2022, it said in a separate filing.
JD.com holds respective stakes of 75 percent and 78 percent in Jingdong Property and Jingdong Industrials and intends to continue owning a majority interest in each publicly listed firm, according to the filings.
Short on Particulars
No details were disclosed about offer prices or the size of the potential IPOs. But selected financial statements showed that Jingdong Property booked 2022 revenue of RMB 2.3 billion, up sharply from RMB 513.8 million in 2021 and RMB 229.4 million in 2020. Net profit last year reached RMB 2.2 billion, up 48.5 percent from 2021 but down 21 percent from two years earlier.
The property unit’s bottom line in 2022 was boosted by RMB 4.1 billion in other income and gains, consisting of items such as fair-value gains on investment properties, gains on disposals of project companies, government subsidies, changes in the value of financial assets and foreign exchange differences.
Jingdong Property’s portfolio comprised 219 logistics parks, 13 business parks and four data centres at the end of last year, according to the application.
At Jingdong Industrials, revenue rose steadily from RMB 6.8 billion in 2020 to RMB 10.3 billion in 2021 and RMB 14.1 billion in 2022. A 2020 net profit of RMB 341.2 million, however, swung to a net loss of RMB 1.3 billion in each of 2021 and 2022.
In its filing, Jingdong Industrials acknowledged some overlap with HKEX-listed JD Logistics, which it said provides “a substantial part of our logistics and warehousing services”. The group raised $3.2 billion through the Hong Kong IPO of JD Logistics in 2o21.
“Our business may be adversely affected, if we are unable to maintain good relationship with JD Logistics,” it said. “Besides, we may have conflict of interest with JD Logistics and may not be able to resolve potential conflicts with JD Logistics on favourable terms to us.”
Stock Investors React
News of the planned listings sent JD.com’s stock climbing, with the group’s NASDAQ-quoted ADRs closing 7.8 percent higher on Thursday and its Hong Kong-listed shares up nearly 6 percent in Friday afternoon trading. JD Logistics’ shares were flat.
The logistics arm posted a narrower loss of RMB 1.1 billion for 2022, a year that saw it beef up its mainland shipping network with the July acquisition of a 66.5 percent stake in Shanghai-based Deppon Logistics for RMB 8.97 billion.
The Deppon buy took place less than a year after JD Property Group agreed to acquire a 26.38 percent stake in China Logistics Property Holdings for HK$3.99 billion (then $513.5 million). More recently, JD Property bought a warehouse facility in China’s Hubei province from Singapore-based SC Capital Partners and Japanese developer Unified Industrial, as reported by Mingtiandi last August.
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