Focus Media targets US$500m in ADS sale

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 January, 2007, 12:00am

Focus Media Holding, operator of the mainland's largest flat-panel television advertising network, and several shareholders plan to raise about US$500 million in a follow-on share placement, people familiar with the deal said.

The company plans to sell 1.5 million new American depositary shares and use the proceeds to fund possible acquisitions as well as for working capital.

Existing shareholders will sell 5.1557 million ADS, including one million shares from US buyout firm Carlyle Group and 1.9 million from Focus Media's co-chairman David Yu.

The sale will reduce Carlyle's stake to 2.2 per cent from 4.2 per cent and Mr Yu's holding will decline to 0.3 per cent from 3.9 per cent.

Total Team Investments is selling its entire stake of 2.26 million ADS, representing 4.2 per cent of the company.

Shares owned by the company's founder, chairman and chief executive Jason Jiang Nanchun can be used in a 15 per cent over-allotment option. Should that option be exercised, Mr Jiang's stake would be reduced to 10.6 per cent from 12.4 per cent.

'It's another clear-out sale with the majority of it secondary shares,' a person familiar with the transaction said. 'We're seeing this across the market as companies take advantage of good share prices.'

Shareholders in another Nasdaq-listed company, Mindray Medical International, plan to raise as much as US$300 million in a follow-on share sale this week, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mindray, which makes patient-monitoring machines used in hospitals, raised US$270 million from an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in September.

Focus Media shares have risen 15 per cent this year and closed at US$76.24 on Friday, outperforming the Nasdaq Composite Index which has risen 1.5 per cent.

The company began a four-day roadshow in the United States yesterday and will price the ADS Friday morning Hong Kong time.

Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup are arranging the deal.

This marks the third follow-on share offering from the company and shareholders since Focus Media raised US$197 million from an initial public offering on the Nasdaq in July 2005. That is the largest share sale from a mainland Chinese company to date on New York's second board.

Last year, the company and shareholders raised US$362 million in June after raising US$295 million in January.