Sat, Apr 21, 2012 - Page 10 News List

PRC state media giant raises US$222m in IPO

MOUTHPIECE:The People’s Daily Online said it would use the proceeds to expand into wireless services, upgrade its technology platforms and beef up its editorial team

AFP, BEIJING

The Web site of the Chinese Communist Party’s flagship newspaper yesterday said it raised 1.4 billion yuan (US$222 million) in an initial public offering (IPO), nearly three times its first fundraising target.

The People’s Daily Online first announced it planned to list on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in January, at first aiming to raise 527 million yuan — the first among a slew of government-back news Web sites wanting to go public.

However, this week it almost tripled its fundraising target. And yesterday, the company — which operates the Web site of the state People’s Daily — said it sold 69.1 million shares, or a quarter of total its shares, at 20 yuan each.

Based on the sale, the People’s Daily Online, which has not announced a date for the its first day of trading — is worth 5.5 billion yuan.

The firm has said it will use the proceeds for expansion into wireless services, upgrade its technology platforms and strengthen its editorial team.

According to a prospectus published this month, the company said its net profit shot up to 139 million yuan last year, more than six times that of 2009.

And in an indication of powerful state backing, domestic telecoms heavyweights such as China Mobile (中國移動), China Unicom (中國聯通) and China Telecom (中國電信), as well as oil giant Sinopec (中國石化), are among the Web site’s shareholders, the prospectus said.

People.com.cn, the main Web site operated by the company, was launched in 1997.

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