China Tower Files for Hong Kong IPO, May Raise $10 Billion
(Bloomberg) -- China Tower Corp., the state-owned wireless infrastructure operator, filed for an initial public offering in Hong Kong that could match the city’s biggest since 2010.
While the world’s largest telecom tower service provider didn’t give a fund-raising target or proposed timing of the sale in its filing dated Monday, the IPO may raise about $10 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said last June.
China Tower was formed by combining the transmission facility assets of China Mobile Ltd., China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. and China Telecom Corp. in 2015 as part of a broader plan to reform the nation’s state-dominated wireless industry. The company is the world’s largest owner of telecom tower infrastructure, according to the prospectus.
China Mobile, the world’s largest wireless carrier, owns a 38 percent stake in China Tower, followed by China Unicom and China Telecom, each with stakes of about 28 percent. The remaining 6 percent is held by China Reform Holdings Corp, a state-owned investment fund. Other than being shareholders, the three carriers also pay leasing fees to use China Tower’s facilities.
A planned Xiaomi Corp. sale and the China Tower IPO may add up to $20 billion, surpassing last year’s total for initial share sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Xiaomi was the first company to file for IPO with a weighted-voting rights structure after the city’s exchange changed rules last month. The electronics maker may raise at least $10 billion in a share sale, people familiar with the matter have said.
China Tower’s profitability improved dramatically in 2017. The company made a profit of 1.9 billion yuan ($299 million) last year, compared with 76 million yuan in 2016 and a loss of 3.6 billion yuan in 2015.
Companies raised about $16.6 billion through IPOs in Hong Kong last year, the data show. The most recent sale for more than $10 billion was AIA Group Ltd.’s 2010 offering at about $20.4 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
China International Capital Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are joint sponsors for the planned China Tower share sale, according to the filing Monday.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.