(Bloomberg) -- Chinese fresh food chain operator Qiandama has picked China International Capital Corp. and Morgan Stanley to work on its planned Hong Kong initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Guangzhou-based company is working with the banks on the IPO that could raise about $500 million, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. The share sale could take place as soon as the end of this year, they said.

Qiandama, which means Auntie Qian, is close to complete a pre-IPO funding round, according to one of the people. The company had planned to raise about 2 billion yuan ($310 million) in a new round that could value it at as much as 25 billion yuan, Bloomberg News reported in March.

Deliberations are ongoing and details of the listing plans including size and timeline could still change, the people said. A representative for Qiandama said the company doesn’t have an IPO plan at the moment, declining to comment further. A representative for CICC declined to comment, while a representative for Morgan Stanley isn’t immediately available for comment.

Qiandama, established in 2012, sells products including vegetables, fruits, fresh meat and eggs through its franchised stores, according to its website. The company, which completed an almost 1 billion yuan fundraising in 2019, is well-known for its slogan “never sells overnight meat” and offers discounts toward the end of each day to clear stocks.

The fresh food chain operator opened its first overseas outlet in Hong Kong in 2018 and started expanding beyond southern China the following year. It runs more than 3,000 stores in over 20 Chinese cities as of February.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.