Fast Retailing Co. the operator of the Uniqlo clothing stores, plans to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange early next year, three people with knowledge of the matter said Monday.
The company, which is Asia’s largest clothing retailer and is headquartered in the city of Yamaguchi, plans to submit a filing with the Hong Kong bourse as early as next month for issuing Hong Kong depositary receipts, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the process is private. The company will not raise any money as part of the listing, the people said.
Led by billionaire Tadashi Yanai, Fast Retailing is seeking to widen its investor base as it expands abroad, they said. The company plans to add about 100 stores a year over the next decade in China to increase the number of outlets in Asia’s largest economy to 3,000.
As of February, Fast Retailing had 182 Uniqlo stores in mainland China and 16 in Hong Kong, according to its website. The company has said it will not slow its China expansion, even after violent demonstrations over a territorial dispute between the two nations forced it to temporarily close as many as 60 outlets in September last year.
Fast Retailing got 77 percent of its sales from Japan in the 12 months through August 2012, down from 82 percent in the year-earlier period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.