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Helen’s Xu Bingzhong is China’s newest billionaire

China’s newest billionaire made his fortune on greasy meals and chilly beers.

Xu Bingzhong, the CEO and Chairman of Helens International Holdings, the biggest chain of bars in China, guided his company by means of a stellar Initial Public Offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Friday.

The stock surged almost 23 p.c on its first buying and selling day, making Xu’s 861 million shares within the company price HK$20.9 billion, or about $2.7 billion.

Xu launched the primary “Helen’s” bar in 2009, in accordance with the company’s Chinese-language prospectus.

The Shenzhen-based $3.9 billion company has since grown to 528 directly-operated bars throughout China along with others operated by franchisees — and the company even has one location in Manhattan’s meatpacking district.

The company has seen speedy development, opening 161 new areas because the finish of March alone, in accordance with company knowledge.

Helens sells a few of its personal beers, fruit drinks and wines, in addition to merchandise manufactured by different corporations.

It payments itself on its web site as “an offline social platform for young people” and says that it options themes in its bars of “Southeast Asian and Chinese ethnic styles.”

But a number of the company’s areas in areas like Beijing’s WuDaoKou district are greatest identified for internet hosting rowdy nights that entice international college students and Chinese millennials alike.

In 2020, the company made $11 million in revenue off income of $127 million, up 37 p.c from 2019 when it made $87.7 million in gross sales. 2020 gross sales have been up a staggering 151 p.c from 2018, when it did $17.8 million in income, in accordance with its prospectus.

In the primary three months of 2021, Helens revenue swung to a lack of $10.1 million on $57.1 million in income.

The majority of Helens bars are in China’s second- and third-tier cities, in accordance with the newest knowledge obtainable. The company has 296 and 165 bars in second- and third-tier cities, respectively, the company says, making up 87.4 p.c of their bars.

Helens warned in its prospectus that it was pressured to shut as many as 161 bars final month as China grappled with a resurgence of COVID-19 circumstances, however the company stated it doesn’t that may have a “material adverse effect” on the business.

It additionally hailed the Chinese authorities for taking “swift and effective counter measures to successfully control the COVID-19 recurrence.”