Jim Boyce | Grace Vineyard has gone public. In terms of being listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, that is. Its status is official under the name Grace Wine Holdings, a little more than two decades after it got into the grape game in Shanxi province. (See 20 Years, 20 Questions for my anniversary Q&A with CEO Judy Chan.)
From the Hong Kong Standard:
“Grace Wine saw its retail tranche oversubscribed 127 times, and the final IPO price was determined at 35 HK cents a share.”
“The mainland-based winemaker has got HK$40.6 million from the public offering, and its shares rose 15 percent in the grey market yesterday.”
Grace Vineyard, known as Yi Yuan in Chinese, is often cited as the biggest wine success story in China, to the point it could be called the Yao Ming of the wine scene.
Over the past few years, Grace has kept its edge by building a presence in Ningxia, which has emerged as China’s most promising wine region, and boosting its portfolio with creative additions, including a series of sparkling wines and a reserve line that utilizes grapes rarely seen in China, including Aglianico. Grace has also boosted its retail presence, including on platforms such as jd.com and Tmall. In late 2016, it partnered with Suntory-owned importer and distributor ASC, thus ending a 12-year relationship with Torres China, which helped bring the Grace brand to prominence.
According to a Hong Kong Stock Exchange document posted on its site, Grace will use nearly half of the HKD40.6 million raised for building the second phase of its Ningxia winery. About 20 percent each will go to plants and equipment for that phase and to production costs at the first phase. The rest is earmarked for sales and marketing and general capital.
Executive directors of Grace Wine Holdings are Judy Chan and Fan Chi Chiu. The non-executive directions are Hou Tantan and Chow Christer Ho while the independent non-executive directors are Ho (Kent) Ching-tak, Lim (Edwin) Leung Yau and Alec Peter Tracy.
Senior management includes GM Wei Dong Sheng and production manager Lee Yean Yean.