Time Share Advertising & Communications plans to raise US$100 million to US$150 million from an initial public offering in the United States early next year, according to market sources. The Beijing-based outdoor media firm, partly owned by US private equity fund Carlyle Group, is in talks with UBS and Morgan Stanley to underwrite the deal, Time Shares spokeswoman Amanda Pan said. 'A lot of Chinese enterprises pursue overseas initial public offerings in order to develop faster. Time Share would like to do it as well,' Ms Pan said. 'However, the IPO time and money raised depend on a lot of factors including bankers, investors and the stock market.' Founded in 2005 by its president He Jilun, Time Share aggregates idle slots of outdoor billboards to sell to advertisers, such as TCL Group, Konka Group and Intel. It has 36 branch offices in the mainland and has signed exclusive contracts with about 10,000 billboard owners, according to Carlyle's website. Carlyle invested US$20 million in Time Share in November last year. '[Time Share's strategy] creates a win-win situation for both billboard operators and advertisers. For advertisers, it can lower costs. For the billboard operators, it helps to increase the utilisation rate,' said Richard Ji, the executive director of Morgan Stanley. 'Focus Media is the first advertising company to succeed with a 'blue ocean strategy'. Time Share might be another one,' he said. The book Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne advocates that companies provide the unfulfilled needs of their customers, instead of copying their rivals' strategies. Focus Media, the leading outdoor advertising company in the mainland, was the first company to advertise using LCD panels in lift lobbies in commercial buildings in the mainland. The company's market capitalisation grew to almost US$5 billion from US$1 billion when it listed on the Nasdaq 18 months ago. The mainland's billboards market is fragmented with about 600,000 billboards controlled by more than 60,000 owners. The overall advertising market grew 15 per cent last year to about US$20 billion, according to a Morgan Stanley estimate. Outdoor media was growing even faster to US$2.6 billion, a rise of more than 22 per cent. The 2008 Beijing Olympics Games would provide another boost to outdoor advertising agents, Mr Ji said.