(Bloomberg) -- Chinese buyout firm Citic Capital is weighing a sale of its controlling stake in EBeauty Holdings Cayman Ltd. after a planned initial public offering stalled amid market volatility, people familiar with the matter said.
Citic is seeking a valuation of as much as $2 billion for the provider of e-commerce services to the cosmetics industry in China, said one of the people, asking not to be identified as the information is private.
The investment company held roughly 44% in EBeauty, according to a prospectus filed last March. Considerations are preliminary, no final decision has been made and Citic Capital could still decide to retain its stake, the people said.
The business, formerly known as Hangzhou UCO Cosmetics Co., filed for an IPO in Hong Kong early last year but the plan hasn’t progressed. The IPO market in the Asian financial hub has cooled after cheap funding and ample cash drove a frenzy in the first half of 2021. The subsequent months were marked by an almost complete absence of major deals due to China’s crackdown on several industries.
EBeauty still hasn’t given up on the listing plan and could revive that option once markets stabilize, the people said.
A representative for Citic Capital declined to comment, while EBeauty didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Founded in 2010, EBeauty helps beauty brands market and sell their products on portals including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Tmall and JD.com Inc., according to its website. It also helps incubate emerging cosmetic brands.
Citic Capital acquired the controlling stake in UCO Cosmetics in 2019 for 1.4 billion yuan ($220 million), according to an exchange filing. Minority shareholders include vehicles backed by Ping An Insurance Group Co. and Bilibili Inc.
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