IPO/Fund Raising

IPO & Fund Raising lastest financial news from China

INTERNET: Baidu’s iQiyi Raises $1.5 Bln, as Investors Hedge Bets

Bottom line: iQiyi’s issue of convertible notes to raise its latest $1.5 billion shows it continues to post big losses, and investors are increasingly skeptical that it can become profitable in the next 2 years.

iQiyi lures investors with convertible notes

It seems no one is quite ready to believe that China’s cash-burning online video sites are ready for the profit column just yet. That seems to be the message coming from Baidu-backed (Nasdaq: BIDU) iQiyi, one of the leading players, which has just raised a fresh $1.5 billion via a convertible note issue. That would indicate that investors are hoping they can convert their notes into iQiyi stock when they come due, but can also simply collect back their money with interest instead. Read Full Post…

INTERNET: Alibaba’s Koubei Raises Funds in Late Arrival to Take-Out Services

Bottom line: Alibaba’s Koubei is unlikely to gain major traction despite its $1.1 billion in new funding, due to its late arrival to a crowded O2O take-out dining space already dominated by Baidu, Ele.me and Meituan-Dianping.

Koubei raises $1.1 billion

The longer I stay in China, the more the latest stories coming from the Internet sector look like I’ve seen them before. That’s certainly the case with Koubei, the Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) online-to-offline (O2O) take-out dining delivery service, which is close to landing a fresh $1.1 billion in new funding. In this case, Alibaba’s extremely late arrival to the space looks a lot like its vain attempt to play catch-up to Tencent’s (HKEx: 700) WeChat with a service called Laiwang back in 2013. Read Full Post…

FINANCE: IDG China Affiliate Roars with US Parent Buy

Bottom line: IDG Capital is likely to buy out the venture funding business of US affiliate IDG in the next year, setting the stage for the emergence of China’s first global venture capital firm.

IDG Capital roars with purchase of US parent

A sort of “mouse that roared” story is in the headlines today, with word that US tech finance and information giant International Data Group (IDG) has been bought out by its China affiliate. The China affiliate, IDG Capital, is actually teaming up with another major local partner, China Oceanwide Holdings, to purchase Boston-based IDG, whose assets include the well-respected market research firm International Data Corp (IDC), as well as PCWorld Magazine. Read Full Post…

IPOs: Sogou Tests IPO Market, But Does Anyone Care?

Bottom line: Sogou is unlikely to make an IPO this year, despite new talk of potential for such a plan from its CEO, and may ultimately never list due to its lackluster performance. 

Sogou floats another IPO plan

Online search engine Sogou is testing the market yet again for a potential IPO, hoping to spin a story of opportunity to grab market share from scandal-tainted industry leader Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU). That story may sound attractive to investors unfamiliar with this perennial number-three in China’s search market, whose main shareholders are web portal Sohu (Nasdaq: SOHU) and Internet titan Tencent (HKEx: 700).

The only problem is that Sogou’s credibility is nearly nil these days, a direct result of the equally low credibility of controlling shareholder Sohu, which seizes on any opportunity to talk up IPOs for its various units. Accordingly, I will quite definitively go on the record saying this particular IPO won’t happen this year, and possibly not ever, regardless of what anyone at Sohu or Sogou says. Read Full Post…

IPOs: iQiyi Eyes 2017 Listing, Renren Finally Retires

Bottom line: iQiyi won’t make an IPO next year even though Baidu would like to get the company off its books, while Renren’s privatization marks one of the last buyouts for a US-listed Chinese firm from a wave dating back to last year.

iQiyi reportedly eyes 2017 IPO

The year 2016 is winding down as an unmemorable one for Chinese IPOs, thanks to a rocky start that cast a chill over the entire space. That said, the new year could be a bit more lively, amid signs that China’s securities regulator is opening the gates a bit wider to new offerings. That signal could bode well for offshore listings as well, with word that loss-making online video site iQiyi, controlled by online search leader Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU), is contemplating such an offering next year. Read Full Post…

IPOs: Meitu Aims High with Price Range, Attracts Low-Brow Investors

Bottom line: Meitu’s shares are likely to price and debut weakly due to skepticism about its profit potential from big western investors, but could perform better over the longer term if the beauty app can monetize its large user base.

Meitu sets IPO price range

What’s likely to be Hong Kong’s biggest high-tech IPO in nearly a decade is creeping ahead, with word that beauty app operator Meitu has set a price range for its widely watched offering that puts it within reach of its target to raise $750 million. But a read between the lines shows that this offering could easily price at the lower end of its range, following earlier investor worries that Meitu might have difficulty leveraging its huge customer base into meaningful profits anytime soon.

Meitu’s quandary is hardly unique, in an Internet universe where having huge user numbers doesn’t always translate to big profits. In this case Meitu, operator of an app that lets users tweak selfies to make themselves look more attractive, is quite rich in terms of traffic, with 450 million active users. But it hasn’t found a way to actually make money from that audience, and instead earns 95 percent of its revenue from sales of smartphones that draw people to its app. Read Full Post…

BUYOUTS: With Buyout in Ruins, Alibaba Dumps Momo Stock

Updates with details of Alibaba’s latest holdings, and statement from Alibaba.

Bottom line: Alibaba’s sale of Momo shares is probably part of a slow-motion divorce, as Momo’s founder aims to continue forward as a standalone listed company following the termination of its buyout bid earlier this year.

Alibaba sells Momo shares

The story of the failed courtship between leading e-commerce company Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) and social networking app operator Momo (Nasdaq: MOMO) could be nearing  an end, with word that the former has sold off some of its stake in the latter. This particular tale is full of twists and turns, culminating in speculation at one point that Alibaba would outright buy the “hook up” app sometimes referred to as China’s equivalent of US matchmaking app Tinder.

But as with many courtships on the Chinese Internet, this particular one seems to be ending in a slow-motion break-up, though it’s unclear what the cause of that might be. Investors don’t seem to be worrying about the falling out just yet, at least based on Momo’s share price after word emerged that 5 million of its American Depositary Shares (ADSs) were sold by Alibaba. (Chinese article) But I’m not particularly bullish on Momo, mostly because its dating-style app seems like a trendy thing that will probably fall out of fashion at some point. Read Full Post…

IPOs: Qudian IPO Banks on China Consumer Micro Loans

Bottom line: Microlender Qudian could raise $500 million or more in an IPO in the first half of next year, most likely in New York, and could get a modestly positive reception as one of the first in a new wave of private Chinese financial firms to list overseas.

Qudian hires CFO, investment bank

Growing signals are emerging that an offshore IPO could be coming soon for Qudian, a financial firm that began its life as a microlender named Qufenqi helping college students to buy things like computers and smartphones. That’s my assessment after learning from one of my sources that Qudian has hired a foreign-trained CFO and also an investment bank, typical developments for a company that wants to make an offshore listing within the next year and often even sooner.

From an investor’s perspective, the company would offer an interesting private play into China’s financial sector, albeit a relatively niche part of that sector. Investors can already buy into numerous Chinese banks and other financial institutions like brokerages and asset managers. But most of those are state-owned and make many of their decisions based on government directives, with the result that their decisions often have a heavy political element that doesn’t always make commercial sense. Read Full Post…

E-COMMERCE: Alibaba, ZTO Take US Hits from Trade Group, Investors

ZTO dives in trading debut

Two names closely associated with e-commerce are in the headlines, led by industry leader Alibaba (NYSE: BABA), which is coming under fresh assault from a coalition of US trade groups for allowing trafficking in pirated goods in its online marketplaces. The other headline involves parcel delivery giant ZTO Express (NYSE: ZTO), which is coming under a different kind of assault as investors dumped its newly-listed New York shares on their first trading day after an impressive $1.4 billion IPO. Read Full Post…

IPOs: Toncheng Goes Slow, ZTO Express Hits Doubters

Bottom line: Tongcheng’s lack of hurry to make an IPO reflects confidence about its cash position due to new backing from Wanda, while ZTO’s high profitability looks unusual amid huge losses reported by most of its rivals.

Tongcheng in no hurry to IPO

A couple of IPO stories are in the headlines as the new week begins, led by word that online travel site Tongcheng  is in no hurry to make a listing, following its link-up last week with the cash-rich Wanda Group. At the same time, delivery company ZTO Express, which is in a bigger hurry to list, is raising some doubts among observers who say the fat profits announced in its IPO prospectus are at huge contrast with peers in China’s highly competitive parcel delivery sector. Read Full Post…

BUYOUTS: Autohome, CNIT Drop Buyout Bids; Sky-mobi Moves Ahead

Bottom line: Many US-listed Chinese companies that have yet to complete privatization bids announced last year are likely to formally abandon the plans in the next few months, after new withdrawals from Autohome and China Information Technology.  

Autohome abandons buyout bid

It’s been well over a year since the cresting for a wave of privatization bids by US-listed Chinese firms, which were hoping to leave New York and get better valuations by re-listing back in China. But despite the early enthusiasm, many of the firms that announced such bids at the height of the frenzy have yet to complete their  plans.

A small group of larger names, including Internet companies YY (Nasdaq: YY) and Momo (Nasdaq: MOMO), have formally announced the scrapping of their bids. Now 2 more have joined their ranks, with online car specialist Autohome (NYSE: ATHM) and cloud services provider China Information Technology (CNIT) (Nasdaq: CNIT) both announcing they have also abandoned their bids.  At the same time, game developer Sky-mobi is moving forward with its own privatization bid, and has just announced the scheduling of a shareholder meeting to vote on the proposal.  Read Full Post…