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SunMoon joins orbit around Alibaba, eyes dual listing in Hong Kong

Chan Chao Peh
Chan Chao Peh8/28/2017 08:00 AM GMT+08  • 7 min read
SunMoon joins orbit around Alibaba, eyes dual listing in Hong Kong
(Aug 28): Gary Loh, executive chairman of SunMoon Food Co, has spent the better part of the last decade restructuring what started as an apple-growing company. He sold off assets, cut down debt and cleaned up the balance sheet so that the company could co
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(Aug 28): Gary Loh, executive chairman of SunMoon Food Co, has spent the better part of the last decade restructuring what started as an apple-growing company. He sold off assets, cut down debt and cleaned up the balance sheet so that the company could continue as a listed entity.

In the middle of last year, with the restructuring more or less completed, SunMoon was brought to the attention of the head of a large local fund, who sent Loh a congratulatory message. An underling was dispatched to take a closer look at the company. Although SunMoon was in much better shape and poised for growth, Loh was told that the fund would not be making an investment after all because “you are too small”.

Two months later, Loh attended another meeting. He found himself seated across from Zhang Ye, CEO of Shanghai Yiguo E-commerce Co. Yiguo is a leading e-commerce seller of fruits, vegetables and, increasingly, other foodstuff. Its controlling shareholder is Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding. Just over the past year, Yiguo has received a total of US$800 million ($1.1 billion) in new investment — mainly from Alibaba or its subsidiaries but also from US private- equity firm KKR & Co and investment bank Goldman Sachs Group. Yiguo is putting some of those funds into SunMoon.

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