AAC Acoustic aims to raise $879m

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 July, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 July, 2005, 12:00am

Mobile handset speaker maker AAC Acoustic Technologies plans to tap the market for up to $879.8 million soon, with the retail tranche of its initial public offering launching on July 28, sources close to the deal said yesterday.

AAC aims to sell 312 million shares at between $2.38 and $2.82 each, representing a price-earnings ratio of 12.5 to 14.8 times this year's earnings, and 9.7 to 11.5 times forecast earnings for next year, the sources said.

Ten per cent of the offer shares will be reserved for retail investors.

Sole book runner CSFB declined to comment.

Rival Foxconn International Holdings trades at 21.62 times current-year earnings, and at 19.02 times forecast earnings.

'Investor response has been very positive in pre-marketing, as AAC's business is of great potential on rising demand for handset speakers,' said the source. AAC started marketing the offering yesterday, said the source, who added that pricing of the shares was scheduled for August 2, before a listing on August 9.

According to sources, existing shareholders including company management and venture capital funds will sell their shares in the offering, amounting to about 12 per cent of the shares on offer.

Shanghai-based Chengwei Ventures, Singapore-based Venture TDF and United States-based Granite Global Ventures are the shareholders of AAC.

Apart from handset speakers, AAC also makes products for cars and MP3 players.

However, AAC vice-president Richard Li Xiang said in an interview with the South China Morning Post earlier that handsets still accounted for most of the company's revenue due to the segment's fast growth.

Last year, AAC posted net profit of more than 200 million yuan on revenues of about 626.8 million yuan, co-manager ABN Amro said in a research report. In 2003 and 2002, its net profits were 138.5 million yuan and 89.9 million yuan respectively. Revenues were 422 million yuan and 318.1 million yuan respectively.

Founded in 1993, AAC in 1998 secured Motorola as its first major foreign handset customer and set up a plant in Shenzhen. Other customers include Sony Ericsson.