Petro-king launches Hong Kong IPO

The China-based oilfield services company seeks to raise up to $109 million from the offering with cornerstone investors taking about one-third.
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Part of Petro-king's fleet of hydraulic fracturing trucks
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<div style="text-align: left;"> Part of Petro-king's fleet of hydraulic fracturing trucks </div>

Termbray Petro-king Oilfield Services started the institutional bookbuilding on Friday for a Hong Kong initial public offering that is aiming to raise between HK$695 million and HK$847.5 million ($90 million to $109 million). The retail portion of the deal opened on the same day.

Ahead of the launch, the company had signed up five cornerstone investors that committed to invest a total of $35 million in the offering. That means the cornerstone tranche accounts for between 32% and 39% of the deal, depending on the final price.

The investors are Minmetals Private Equity ($10 million), Value Partners ($10 million), Everbright Private Equity ($9 million), Clarion Valley Capital ($4 million) and SinoSteel ($2 million). They are subject to a six-month lock-up.

Petro-king is an independent China-based provider of high-end oilfield services and one of the first companies to hit the Hong Kong IPO market after the Lunar New Year holiday that shut the local stock market from February 11 to 13.

Deal flow was pretty thin before the break as well — the biggest IPO so far this year was Chinalco Mining Corporation International’s $399 million offering in late January. The second biggest was a $160 million offering by PanAsialum, a Chinese maker of iPad casings and other aluminium products.

Total IPO volume in Hong Kong stands at $796 million year-to-date, compared to $452 million during the same period last year, according to Dealogic.

The bookbuilding for Petro-king will continue until Wednesday and the final price is expected to be determined later that same day. The trading debut is scheduled for March 6.

Petro-king is offering 250 million shares at a price between HK$2.78 and HK$3.39 each, according to the term sheet. Of the total, 10% is earmarked for Hong Kong retail investors, while the remaining 90% will be offered to institutional accounts.

The base offering represents 25% of the company. There is also a 15% greenshoe option, which could increase the total proceeds to as much as $126 million.

The price range values the company at a 2013 price-to-earnings ratio of between 10.6 times and 12.9 times, a source said.

That puts Petro-king at a discount to its two main Hong Kong-listed comparables — Anton Oilfield Services Group and SPT Energy Group — which are trading at 2013 price-to-earnings multiples of around 23 times and 13 times, respectively, according to Bloomberg data.

Petro-king is one of China’s biggest providers of a number of high-end oilfield technologies such as turbine-drilling and multistage fracturing, according to its listing prospectus.

Chinese oil and gas companies, such as Sinopec, CNPC and Cnooc mainly use Petro-king’s oilfield project services for their local projects, while tapping into both its consultancy services and oilfield project services for their overseas operations. In 2009 to 2011, as well as for the nine months to September 2012, the company’s biggest customers were mostly subsidiaries and joint ventures of Sinopec.

International oil and gas companies such as ConocoPhillips and Shell use Petro-king primarily as a consultant for their projects in China.

Petro-king has also provided services and products to customers in various other regions and countries in the world, including the Middle East, Russia, Australia, Western Africa, the Caribbean Sea and South America.

Part of the attraction for investors is the sector Petro-king operates in, its relationship with Sinopec and the spread of its business, the source said. The company is also very well positioned to do well in China because of its track record and relationships in the Chinese market, the person noted.

The company plans to use the IPO proceeds to establish a research, development and manufacturing base in China, and to acquire a range of fracturing-related tools and equipment to expand its scale of operation on unconventional gas, including tight and shale gas. It also plans to invest part of the money in R&D into new services and technologies such as turbine drilling tools and to enhance its regional offices in China and overseas.

Petro-king booked HK$92 million in profit in 2011, up from HK$77 million in 2009.

CCB International, China Galaxy and CIMB are joint bookrunners for the deal.

Separately, Xinchen China Power Holdings, which started pre-marketing last week for a similarly sized IPO of about $100 million, is expected to launch its deal on Wednesday, a source said on Friday. It is aiming to list on March 13. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank are joint bookrunners.

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