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Mobile mast group seeks IPO approval | Updated: 2018-06-26 17:42
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China Tower aims for $10 billion listing in Hong Kong, valuing it at $40 billion

HONG KONG — Mobile communications infrastructure company China Tower Corp is set to seek listing approval this week for a Hong Kong IPO of up to $10 billion, according to people close to the deal.

The company, which could be valued at up to $40 billion, is planning to raise $8 billion to $10 billion from the float, the people said. Premarketing will start next week and listing will be around late July, they said. CICC and Goldman Sachs are the joint sponsors.

China Tower's mega IPO comes hot on the heels of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi's planned Hong Kong IPO of up to $6.1 billion.

If it achieves a $10 billion IPO, China Tower's float will be the world's largest since Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd raised $25 billion in the United States in 2014.

China Tower's market share in the Chinese telecommunication tower infrastructure industry was 96.3 percent in terms of tower sites and 97.3 percent in terms of revenue as of Dec 31, 2017, according to a regulatory filing.

The company posted net profits of 1.94 billion yuan ($296 million) in 2017, up from 76 million yuan in 2016. Its revenue was 68.7 billion yuan in 2017, up 23 percent from a year earlier.

China Mobile Communications Corp, China United Network Communications Group Co Ltd and China Telecom Corp Ltd set up China Tower in July 2014 to be responsible for the construction, maintenance and operation of their telecom towers and infrastructure across the country.

China Mobile holds a 38 percent stake in China Tower, China Unicom has 28.1 percent and China Telecom 27.9 percent. State asset management firm China Reform Holdings Corp Ltd has a 6 percent stake.

Xiang Ligang, founder of telecom industry website, said the listing plan comes as China Tower is preparing for the upcoming fifth-generation network rollout and a possible branch into business beyond the telecom sector.

"Although the big three telecom operators have transferred lots of assets to China Tower, most are in the form of fixed assets such infrastructure equipment. The company is short of cash," Xiang said.

"It wants to raise money from the stock market to boost its cash flow in preparation for upcoming 5G network construction, and to expand its business into areas such as building electric charging stations for the possible electric car boom in China," he said.

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