Drinkwater's runner-up Yibao's parent, China Resources Beverage, lists in HK with $40B sales.


On April 23, Hong Kong Exchange's website announced China Resources Beverage's listing application. It's China's second-largest packaged drink company after Nongfu Spring.

On April 23, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange's official website announced that China Resources Beverage Limited had submitted its IPO application on April 22. While the company's name might not be widely recognized, most people are familiar with their product: C'estbon. Although it's not their only product, C'estbon is undoubtedly the star product of China Resources Beverage.

China Resources Beverage is a subsidiary of China Resources Group. In the past two years, there have been rumors about China Resources Group advancing its IPO in Hong Kong for this company, but no progress was reported. However, this time, China Resources Beverage has successfully taken steps toward listing in Hong Kong. If the IPO goes smoothly, it will become the 18th listed enterprise under China Resources Group.

According to the prospectus data provided by China Resources Beverage, in 2023, the company surpassed other competitors to become China's second-largest packaged drinking water enterprise, second only to Nongfu Spring, with a retail sales volume reaching 39.6 billion RMB. In 2023, its flagship product, "C'estbon," sold nearly 14.6 billion bottles, with the retail sales volume of this single product exceeding 30 billion RMB. Benefiting from this, the gross profit margin for the past three years has been higher than 40%.

According to relevant data, China Resources Beverage's market share in the packaged drinking water market is 18.4%, only second to Nongfu Spring and higher than Baisuishan, Wahaha, and Master Kong. China Resources Beverage's performance in the pure drinking water sector is not inferior to Nongfu Spring's. However, the issue lies in its poor product portfolio. Despite launching other products like "Afternoon Tea," "Hot Coffee," and "Magic," they have not been widely distributed and still rely heavily on C'estbon as the main product. Meanwhile, in Nongfu Spring, drinking water accounts for less than half of the total revenue.

In its prospectus, China Resources Beverage announced plans for significant expansion to increase market share and emphasized enhancing product R&D capabilities to continuously expand product categories. This judgment aligns with various analyses: relying solely on pure drinking water has limited market potential, and expansion into the broader beverage sector is necessary.

However, the future of China Resources Beverage's IPO is not entirely bright. In recent years, the Hong Kong stock market has become increasingly gloomy, with 2023 setting a new low for IPO fundraising amounts in nearly a decade. This is not an opportune time for enterprises looking to raise funds through a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Will China Resources Beverage be able to emerge from the shadows of the Hong Kong stock market?



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Going public

Going public, also known as an initial public offering (IPO), refers to the process where a private company offers its shares for sale to the public for the first time and trades on a stock exchange. This process marks the company's transformation from private to public ownership.

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