Tencent's Online Book Unit Raises $1.07 Billion in Hong Kong Offering
Tencent Holdings Ltd. said its online literature unit is raising HK$8.33 billion ($1.07 billion) from an initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong, after selling its shares at the top end of an indicative price range.
China Literature Ltd., the largest online publisher and electronic book seller in China, is selling 151.37 million shares at HK$55 apiece, Tencent said in a statement Tuesday. The final IPO price values China Literature at HK$49.85 billion, the statement added.
Previously, the company indicated that it would offer the IPO shares at a price between HK$48 and HK$55 each.
Both retail and institutional investors are keen on the offering. The retail investor portion is 625 times oversubscribed, while the institutional tranche is also oversubscribed too, according to another disclosure filed to the Hong Kong bourse on Tuesday.
China Literature, which operates on Tencent messaging mobile app Wechat that has 963 million active users, has a business model similar to Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle Store. It runs an online platform that sells nearly 10 million books, from as many as 6.4 million writers, according to the official website of China Literature. And one of its main sources of income is a fee readers pay to read books written by contracted authors.
China Literature’s revenue almost doubled in the first six months this year, to 1.9 billion yuan ($286 million) from 999.6 million yuan a year ago, according to its Post Hearing Information Pack released ahead of the IPO prospectus.
It reported a net profit of 213.5 million yuan for the first six months of 2017, compared with a net loss of 2.4 million yuan in the same period last year, the information pack said.
China Literature expects the country’s online literature market to grow from 11.4% of the total literature market in 2016 to 22.7% in 2020, expanding faster than the other two segments of the market — e-books and paper books, the company said. The online literature market was worth 4.6 billion yuan in 2016.
Contact reporter Dong Tongjian (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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