Xiaomi seeks bank pitches for 2018 offering

Source:Reuters-Global Times Published: 2017/12/6 21:18:40

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc has asked banks to make pitches next week for an IPO in 2018, said people familiar with the plan.

Xiaomi was valued at $46 billion in a 2014 funding round that was completed before its sales stagnated. More recently, it has seen expectations of its value pick up following strong results this year.

Its float could be the world's "largest technology IPO" next year, according to one of the people.

"It is huge," said another source, adding that a valuation of $100 billion would "not be a crazy number."

The world's most valuable start-up for a brief period in 2014 was worth about $55 billion at the end of June, according to one person close to the company.

But two other people familiar with the company's discussions said that it should be worth much more based on its expected earnings.

Xiaomi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The maker of budget smartphones saw sales stall in 2016 as it attempted to expand internationally while battling intense competition from Chinese rivals Huawei Technologies Co, Vivo and Oppo.

At the time it pulled back from several overseas markets including Brazil and Indonesia, but this year it has launched and re-launched sales in dozens of countries and regions such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Ukraine.

It has overtaken Apple Inc to become China's fourth-largest smartphone vendor by sales, driven by a focus on physical stores, according to research firm Canalys.

The IPO plan follows several successful Chinese technology and fintech IPOs in recent months.

A strong pipeline is building for 2018, with public floats expected from Meituan-Dianping, an online local services group valued at $30 billion, and Lufax, a wealth management platform worth $18.5 billion as of its last funding round.

Commenting on the IPO on Wednesday, Xiaomi's founder, Lei Jun, said he has nothing to say, according to yicai.com.

Posted in: COMPANIES

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