Japanese Hong Kong-based seafood restaurant chain pulls IPO because of coronavirus

Virus outbreak scuppers Daikiya – largest Japanese-style buffet chain in Hong Kong – who wanted to raise HK 200 million (EUR 23.7 million).

South China Morning Post reports that Daikiya Group Holdings, a Japanese-themed restaurant chain, has withdrawn its initial public offering plan on the Hong Kong exchange originally scheduled for Friday.

The company, which serves seafood as well as many salmon sushi dishes, cited several factors including the prevailing market conditions, according to an exchange filing on Wednesday.

The company was planning to raise HK 200 million (EUR 23.7 million) from the IPO by selling 100 million shares at HK 1.60 to HK 2.00 apiece.

Daikiya operates 15 restaurants in Hong Kong, including 13 Japanese all-you-can-eat outlets and two a-la-carte eateries. It has a 37 per cent market share in the Japanese all-you-can-eat cuisine segment in Hong Kong.

The publication reported that bankers in Hong Kong are struggling to cope with the impact of the rapidly spreading Covid-19 disease.

There is currently a two-week compulsory quarantine on mainland Chinese travellers coming into Hong Kong – which it said had “hampered essential IPO preparation work from due diligence to organising roadshows for investors”. Furthermore, consumers are avoiding public spaces to avoid infection – which is having an effect on footfall and spending in restaurants.

On Thursday, SalmonBusiness spoke to salmon market specialist Dr Martin Jaffa who said that he doesn’t think there will be mountains of fish building up because of the halt in exports to China.

“I don’t think it will radically affect things. My understanding is that it won’t make a difference as the fish will be diverted into European markets such as France. The reason producers like Asia is that they get a good price for it. The fish will just get absorbed into the EU, There’s not going to be a glut of salmon around. The EU market can expand if the price is right,” he said.