Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. could launch one of the world’s biggest recent public offerings after it failed to get the price it wanted for its Hong Kong supermarket chain, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. Li Ka-shing’s flagship is considering a plan for an initial public offering of its A.S. Watson & Co. unit, a retailer with 11,093 stores that sell everything from aspirin and Bordeaux wine to Apple Inc. iPods in 33 countries. A.S. Watson, which operates Superdrug in Britain, Kruidvat in the Netherlands and Belgium and Watson’s and ParknShop in Asia, had first-half sales of HK$75.8 billion (US$9.8 billion). The offering could take place in coming months, the report said.
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