AAC Acoustic pair to cash in on gains with $646m sale

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 July, 2006, 12:00am


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The founder and a fellow shareholder of AAC Acoustic Technologies Holdings, a mobile phone components maker, plan to raise as much as $646 million by selling shares in the company, according to people familiar with the situation.

Chief executive and founder Benjamin Pan Zhengmin and Cheng Wei were offering 85 million shares at $7.30 to $7.60 each, the sources said.

The bottom of the range represents a 7 per cent discount to yesterday's closing price of $7.85. The amount of shares was 6.8 per cent of the total the two hold in AAC.

Analysts said the two were taking advantage of the company's strong run on the stock market this year due to a growing appetite for the handset sector.

'The handset sector would be the growth spot in the technology universe rather than the personal computer sector,' said Stone Shi Shao-jie, an analyst at Sun Hung Kai Securities. 'Key customers of AAC, including Motorola, saw strong growth during the second quarter. This has helped boost AAC's share price recently.'

The company's shares have risen 65 per cent this year compared with the 11 per cent rise in the Hang Seng Index.

The company, which raised $7.6 billion in an initial public offering in August last year, claims to have a 7.9 per cent share of the worldwide mobile handset speaker market.

As well as Motorola, it also counts Sony-Ericsson and Kyocera among its customers.

Net profit rose 41 per cent to 333 million yuan on 1.07 billion yuan in turnover last year.

Revenue growth over the past two years was the strongest in overseas markets, notably Asia and Europe. Revenue was 176 million yuan last year, about a third of the 522 million earned on the mainland, its largest market.

AAC's earnings are expected to surge 73 per cent year on year to $553.47 million this year, according to a Thomson Financial poll of eight analysts.