Luggage maker Samsonite plans IPO in Hong Kong

By KELVIN CHAN | June 2, 2011 | 1:59 AM EDT

HONG KONG (AP) — Luggage maker Samsonite International S.A. is planning to raise $1.5 billion from a listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday, joining a slew of foreign companies cashing in on investor interest in China.

Samsonite will sell 671.24 million shares in the initial public offering, equivalent to a 47.7 percent stake in the company, said the person, who was not authorized to reveal details of the IPO and requested anonymity.

The company will hold a press conference later Thursday to discuss the listing plan.

The shares will be sold for between 13.50 Hong Kong dollars and 17.50 Hong Kong dollars, the person said. That would raise 9.1 billion to 11.7 billion Hong Kong dollars ($1.2 billion to $1.5 billion).

The listing is scheduled for June 16, the person said.

Samsonite, which was founded in 1910 in Denver, Colorado, plans to focus on developing its business in high-growth Asian markets, especially China and India, according to pre-listing documents filed with the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Asia generated about a third of the company's sales last year, about the same as Europe but ahead of North America, which brought in a quarter.

Samsonite is the latest in a string of foreign companies to hold IPOs in Hong Kong as they seek to ride growing investor interest in China.

MGM China, a Macau casino operator controlled by Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International, raised $1.5 billion last month in the fourth largest global gaming IPO on record, according to deal tracking company Dealogic.

Global commodities trader Glencore International PLC chose Hong Kong for its secondary listing when it went public last month. Italian fashion house Prada is also planning a Hong Kong IPO.

Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners owns about 54.3 percent of Samsonite while Royal Bank of Scotland owns 30 percent.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that the offering will allow CVC to sell much of its stake.