JD Health, the healthcare unit of JD.com, confirmed in a statement last night that it intends to list in Hong Kong.
Although its parent JD.com is already listed on Nasdaq, worsening relations between the US and China have seen a number of companies either delay flotation plans in the US or prepare secondary listings in Hong Kong.
E-commerce giant Alibaba led the way with a secondary listing last year on the Hong Kong main board but JD.com itself followed in early June.
Both timing and size of the deal are subject to market conditions, but the company, which operates the largest online retail pharmacy in China with a fast-growing online healthcare services platform, is likely to look for up to US$1bn.
The third company to spin-off from JD.com – after JD Digits and JD Logistics – JD Health was named the most valuable unicorn to emerge from China last year.
Banks on the deal have not been formally announced, but bankers away from the deal say that Bank of America, Haitong Securities and UBS will be managing the deal.
Following an entry into the pharmaceutical e-commerce world in 2013, JD started its internet hospital business in December 2017, offering mobile telephone and text consultations to patients.
It now has more than 30,000 doctors providing medical consultation services, almost two-thirds of whom come from AAA hospitals.
There is no doubt that an IPO for JD Health would be enthusiastically received.
It would join Ping An Good Doctor and Ali Health, the online healthcare platforms of insurance behemoth Ping An and internet giant Alibaba which have already listed and seen their share prices soar.
JD Health raised US$1bn Series A funding in May 2019, when it sold a 14.5% stake to investors including CPEChina Fund, CICC Capital, and Baring Private Equity Asia, among others.
At the end of August, it raised more than US$830m from investment management company Hillhouse Capital in non-redeemable Series B preference share financing.