Superdrug owner Hong Kong-based AS Watson is mulling moving its headquarters to the UK to aid a possible London Stock Exchange listing.
Under rules supervised by the UK Listing Authority, transferring its corporate headquarters to the UK would make it easier to qualify for a premium listing of its shares, according to Sky News.
AS Watson, which operates Superdrug and The Perfume Shop in the UK, is considering a joint primary listing in Hong Kong and London.
The health and beauty giant, which is part of Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, has appointed Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and HSBC to manage a share sale of the retail division during the course of this year.
Although London is in the running, AS Watson is also considering Singapore for its float, which could value the business at £15bn.
AS Watson is also mulling approaching former trade minister Lord Davies or former Vodafone chairman Sir John Bond about taking on its chairmanship if it pursues a London float.
Hutchison Whampoa, which is run by Asia’s wealthiest man Li Ka-shing, had previously been considering a sale of Park n Shop, the Hong Kong grocery chain and one of AS Watson’s largest individual businesses.
However, it abandoned the sale after prospective buyers failed to meet the apparent $4bn (£2.5bn) asking price.