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ABC's Pan Gongsheng: How Pan handled the IPO process

Pan Gonsheng was the key executive on Agricultural Bank of China’s $22 billion IPO. Bankers who worked on the deal have little but praise for the way he managed a daunting process. Pan tells Lawrence White in Beijing how he and his team did it, and where ABC goes from here.

What were the factors that influenced your decision to get ABC’s IPO done on such a tight schedule?

There were several reasons. First, we had already done much of the preparation work, completing our financial restructuring by the end of 2008 and at the beginning of 2009 establishing the limited company that would issue the shares. We had done much of the background work, such as auditing, due diligence and completing a draft prospectus. We got the green light from the regulators by the end of March for an A+H share IPO and were ready. Finally, we sensed the general environment of the global capital markets, and the level of interest in the deal.

I remember at the beginning of April around the tomb-sweeping festival [on Monday 5th] bankers began arriving for the beauty parade. I told them we would complete the IPO by July and I think they were shocked and impressed by this schedule, but we were well grounded, having done our preparation, drafted the prospectus, and spoken to hundreds of institutional investors. We’d already prepared a strict division of work among the investment banks, auditors and law firms, and made a daily schedule.

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