Chinese flexible screen pioneer Royole Corp. is eyeing a hometown IPO in Shenzhen, tapping Citic Securities for support.
The news means secret plans for a $1 billion U.S. listing reported earlier this year may have gone off the boil. The company has raised around $7 billion from investors including state-backed Shenzhen Capital Group, and its most recent funding round valued it at around $6 billion, Caixin understands.
The display maker has achieved a number of firsts in the niche market of foldable interfaces since it was founded in 2012, including what is regarded as the world’s first foldable smartphone.
The plan to go public comes as foldable displays shape up as a coveted next generation item even in the face of concerns about their hardiness and longevity, and despite caution from analysts that the already oversupplied flexible display market will make profits hard won.
The company claims to have planned production capacity of 50 million screens per year, but sources told Caixin that Royole only made 2.8 million last year. One analyst told Caixin that Royole shipped less than a million foldable smartphones shipped last year worldwide, and Huawei's flagship foldable phone the Mate X will only ship around 100,000 units.
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