Convenience Retail Asia Limited

Convenience Retail Asia to Raise HK$160 Million
For Circle K's Expansion into China

Hong Kong, January 8, 2001 - Convenience Retail Asia Limited (CRA), a subsidiary of privately held Li & Fung (1937) Limited and the licensee of the Circle K convenience store brand in Hong Kong and for most of the Mainland of China, is seeking a listing on the Growth Enterprise Market in Hong Kong.

CRA is offering 163,900,000 shares at a price of HK$1.05 to HK$1.15, which is expected to raise net proceeds of HK$160 million. Of the allotment, approximately 32,780,000 shares will be available for retail investors, with 131,120,000 shares placed with professional and institutional investors. Following the listing, and assuming a price of HK$1.10, CRA will have a market capitalization of more than HK$720 million.

Dr. Victor K. Fung, Chairman of CRA, said: "The timing is right to take CRA public so that we may take advantage of the enormous growth opportunities for the Circle K brand in both Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland. The convenience retail market in China is in an infancy stage, but will rapidly take shape with China's entry into the WTO and with continued economic growth on the Mainland. In Hong Kong, fast paced lifestyles and increasing urbanization have created the need for more convenience retail outlets. We believe our business model and growth strategy will meet consumer needs in both markets."

Globally, the Circle K brand is owned by Tosco Corporation, based in the U.S., and is one of the fastest growing convenience store chains with 5,700 stores as of December 2000.

In Hong Kong, Circle K was established in 1985, with 100 percent of the stores owned and managed by CRA. Today, the company employs 1,200 people in Hong Kong and operates more than 120 stores. On average, Circle K Hong Kong stores conduct 275,000 transactions each day.

"Because we operate wholly owned stores, we are able to achieve total alignment in the execution of business strategies and marketing programs, thus creating efficiency and consistency at every level," said Mr. Richard Yeung, Chief Executive Officer of CRA. "We believe that this business model, combined with customer focused services emphasizing on speed, tidiness and friendliness, will lead to Circle K becoming the fastest growing and the preferred convenience store in Hong Kong, and ultimately Mainland of China."

In the 12 months ended December 31, 2000, Circle K operations in Hong Kong generated turnover of HK$1.1 billion, with profit attributable to shareholders of more than HK$45 million.

The proceeds from the share offering will help fuel Circle K's expansion into the Chinese Mainland market. This growth strategy features three stages of development: Guangzhou and the Pearl River Delta area, followed by growth in Eastern China, and subsequently the opening of stores in Northern China.

"Strong controlling shareholder support from Li & Fung will assist the development of our business, particularly with regard to the successful supply chain management processes the company has developed," Yeung said. "We also will benefit from Li & Fung's strong regional relationships, which will be leveraged to assist in the development of our business, including expansion into other geographical markets and by providing contacts that may promote or facilitate future strategic alliances."

The CRA shares will be offered for public subscription from January 9 to January 12. Trading in the stock will commence on Thursday, January 18. BNP Paribas Peregrine is the Global Coordinator and Sponsor for the exercise.

About Li & Fung

Li & Fung was founded in Guangzhou in 1906, as a traditional Chinese family company engaged in trading. In 1937, it was established in Hong Kong as Li & Fung (1937) Limited, the holding company for Li & Fung (Retailing) Limited.

In the 1970s, the management of Li & Fung was transferred to the third generation of the Fung family - Dr. Victor K. Fung and Dr. William K. Fung - who remain at its helm today. Privately held Li & Fung is now a multinational group of companies comprising three distinct core businesses, namely export trading, retailing and distribution.

Li & Fung (Retailing) Limited, the holding company of Convenience Retail Asia, was formed in 1985. There are three other chains within the retailing group: Toys "R" Us, Fotomax and Fun Fun World. The retailing group's business extends from Hong Kong to Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia, with plans for expansion into China and other Asian countries.

About Tosco

Tosco Corporation, which currently has over US$23 billion in annualized revenues, is the largest independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products and convenience store merchandise in the United States. Tosco (NYSE: TOS), a Fortune 150 company, is responsible for a family of nationally recognized gasoline and convenience store brands including Union 76, Exxon, Mobil, and Circle K with more than 6,300 retail sites coast-to-coast. For more information about Tosco, please visit

For more information, please contact:

Scotchbrook-BSMG Worldwide


2877 3939

Fannie Mok

Direct line:

2863 9119

Ken Walker

Direct line:

2863 9168

Prudence Lai

Direct line:

2863 9120

CRA corporate website: