China’s selfie app maker Meitu may list shares on December 15

Company may sell shares at an indicative price of HK$8.5 to HK$9.6, say sources

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 November, 2016, 10:28pm
UPDATED : Monday, 28 November, 2016, 10:28pm

China’s most popular selfie application maker Meitu, which aimed to raise as much as US$710 million in what could be Hong Kong’s largest technology initial public offering since 2007, plans to list its shares on December 15, according to people with the knowledge of the matter.

The mobile developer that boasts 450 million monthly active users is expected to sell 574 million shares at an indicative price range of HK$8.50 to HK$9.60 apiece, the people said.

Meitu, a startup founded in 2008 by entrepreneur Cai Wensheng, amassed its popularity in China after developing an application that “beautifies” people’s portraits with functions that smooth skin and enlarge eyes. It also sells smartphones under the Meitu brand.

The planned float is poised to become the city’s largest IPO of a tech company since Alibaba’s public listing in 2007, and could give the Xiamen-based company a market capitalisation of about as much as US$5 billion.

Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.

Investors wary as high valuations may cloud Meitu’s Hong Kong IPO

Meitu is expected to meet potential institutional investors in Hong Kong, Singapore, London, New York and Boston in the coming week till this Friday to determine the offer price, before subscription for retail investors is tipped to take place from December 5 to December 8.

Analysts have expressed doubts on how the firm plans to monetise services to justify its high valuation, especially when it had been incurring losses from 2013 to 2015. For the six months ended June 30, its adjusted net loss amounted to 258 million yuan (HK$289.7 million), while revenue more than tripled to 585 million yuan from a year earlier, its prospectus showed.

Ports International Enterprises, the parent of Hong Kong-listed fashion house Portico International Holdings, is among the cornerstone investors who committed to purchase of Meitu’s shares.