Sat, Jun 30, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Xiaomi prices HK IPO on low end, raises US$4.7bn

SCALED BACK:After initially pushing for a valuation of as much as US$100 billion, the firm has set its sights lower and delayed a round of fundraising in Shanghai


Xiaomi Corp (小米) and some existing investors raised US$4.7 billion after pricing a Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) at the low end of a marketed range, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

The Beijing-based smartphone maker priced the sale of 2.18 billion shares at HK$17 each, the person said, asking not to be identified, because the details are private.

Xiaomi had offered the shares at HK$17 to HK$22 apiece. The pricing values Xiaomi at about US$54 billion, roughly half the company’s initial goal.

Billionaire George Soros and Chinese investment firm Hillhouse Capital (高瓴資本) were among investors that placed orders for Xiaomi IPO shares, people with knowledge of the matter said earlier.

“Xiaomi’s exceedingly thin margins from hardware significantly drags down its valuation for potential investors,” Counterpoint Research analyst James Yan (閆佔孟) said in Beijing. “I expect it to invest more in the smartphone unit, especially on international expansion. It also needs cash to beef up its ecosystem in markets like India. All those fronts are extremely capital-intensive.”

The IPO is Hong Kong’s biggest first-time share sale since September 2016, when Postal Savings Bank of China Co (中國郵政儲蓄銀行) priced a US$7.6 billion IPO, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

Xiaomi, led by serial entrepreneur Lei Jun (雷軍), is the first major tech listing in Hong Kong since the territory changed its rules to allow founders to keep outsized voting rights.

A Soros-backed fund placed an early order for a small amount of Xiaomi stock, one of the people with knowledge of the matter said.

Hillhouse placed an order of about US$600 million, while US asset manager Capital Group Cos Inc placed an order for more than US$500 million of stock, the people said.

A price at the low end of Xiaomi’s IPO range translates into 22.7 times its forecast earnings for next year, assuming a so-called over-allotment option is fully exercised, Bloomberg News reported earlier.

The company had already scaled back its ambitions for the offering.

Top executives were initially pushing for an IPO valuation of as much as US$100 billion when listing preparations began last year, Bloomberg News reported at the time.

The company was also planning to raise funds from Chinese investors nearly simultaneously with the Hong Kong IPO.

It has since delayed the plan to float so-called Chinese depositary receipts in Shanghai, which reduced its overall fundraising target.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Morgan Stanley and CITIC CLSA Ltd led Xiaomi’s IPO as joint sponsors.

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