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SBD Global/October 18, 2012/Finance
Li Ning Selling $175M Stake In His Sportswear Brand To Talent Management Firm
Published October 18, 2012
STOCK RALLIES ON NEWS: REUTERS' Donny Kwok reports shares of Viva China "more than doubled on the news." However, Li Ning, the company that operates around 7,300 branded sports stores across China, dropped on the Hong Kong stock market "as investors said the deal suggested the group's founder was gradually giving up direct control of the business." Bank of America Merrill Lynch said that the Li family's "stake in the listed company would be diluted" to 17.64% from 25.23%. However, shares of Chinese sportswear brand Anta Sports "benefited from the doubts about Li Ning" (REUTERS, 10/17). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Laurie Burkitt noted Li Ning is "in the midst of a major business overhaul, replacing its senior management and repositioning its brand as a part of a three-year transformation program aimed at improving profitability and taking broader market share in China's apparel market" (WSJ, 10/16). The WSJ's Duncan Mavin reported Li Ning shares fell 4.8% on Wednesday. However, Li "isn't cashing out," merely he has "shuffled his Li Ning his Li Ning stake at a premium price into a relatively cash-rich vehicle he controls." Viva's minority investors "now benefit from any Li Niung upside, which helps explain why its shares jumped sharply Wednesday." But Li has also "significantly limited his downside in Li Ning, too" (WSJ, 10/17).