Fri, Dec 10, 2004 - Page 10 News List

PC Home Online IPO to employ Internet auction

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Internet portal PC Home Online (網路家庭) is scheduled to offer its shares for online bidding next week, paving the way for its initial public offering (IPO) early next year.

The company will use an auction similar to the format used by US Internet giant Google and take bids on the Web for 3.6 million of its shares. The four-day online bidding, with a floor price of NT$21.9 per share, is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, while the company plans to sell another 3.6 million shares to the public, for a maximum of NT$28.47 each.

"The method [of this IPO] matches the style of our company as an innovative platform," PC Home Online's assistant public relations manager Joyce Tzeng (曾淑華) said.

The company will not set a cap on bidding prices, she said.

PC Home Online, the first Internet portal to go public in Taiwan, is slated to make its debut on the nation's over-the-counter market, the Gretai Securities Market (櫃台買賣中心), on Jan. 24.

The online service provider created NT$2 billion of revenue in the first 11 months of this year, of which e-commerce business accounted for 86.8 percent, with income from advertising and other businesses taking up the rest, according to the company.

The company expects to generate profits of NT$810 million, or NT$1.50 per share, on annual revenue of between NT$2.3 billion and NT$2.4 billion this year.

It projects sales will jump by 50 percent to NT$3 billion next year, driven by the expected fast growth of e-commerce and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services, said Jan Hung-tze (詹宏志), chief executive officer of PC Home Group, which owns PC Home Online.

PC Home Online launched a free Internet telephony service in July this year in alliance with Skype Technologies SA and, as of yesterday, has seen nearly 2 million downloads with traffic reaching 800,000 users, including 25,000 employing the "SkypeOut" service.

The service enables users to make domestic or international calls from their computer to fixed line and mobile phones for one-eighth to one-third the price that fixed-line carriers charge.

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