Digital transformation

Topsports IPO to shed light on Belle’s digitalisation efforts

Through the Hong Kong IPO of its sportswear division, China’s largest shoe retailer will show the world how much it has transformed its vast retail network with the power of digital technology.

CDH Investments and Hillhouse Capital are set to begin monetising their investment in China’s biggest shoe retailer, Belle International, by kicking off a HK$9.4 billion $1.2 billion initial public offering for its sportswear business.

The flotation of Topsports, launched on Tuesday, marks the first partial exit for the two Chinese private equity firms since taking Belle private for $6.8 billion two years ago and will shed light on how well they have managed to overhaul the business with new technology.

With a physical network of 20,738 stores when it was taken private, Belle had a dominant position in China’s footwear industry. It was seen...

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