WH Group, the Chinese pork processor that bought Smithfield Foods in 2013, is shelving its multibillion-dollar Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO). WH Group cited lagging investor demand and volatile markets as its reason to stray from the IPO.

The decision to abandon the share offering complicates the WH Group's efforts to pay off loans it took out to complete the purchase of Smithfield Foods, the Associated Press reported. The company had hoped to raise as much as $5.3 billion in the WH Group IPO on Hong Kong’s stock exchange.


"In light of deteriorating market conditions and recent excessive market volatility, the company, having consulted the joint sponsors, has decided that the global offering will not proceed at this time," WH Group said in a brief statement posted on the Hong Kong stock exchange's website. 

WH Group, formerly known as Shuanghui International Holdings, changed its name on January 21.