Chee­tah Mo­bile’s IPO on NYSE raises $168 mil­lion

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICA - By MICHAEL BAR­RIS in New York michael­bar­ris@ chi­nadai­lyusa.com

As Chee­tah Mo­bile Inc’s first day as a US pub­licly traded com­pany drew to a close, its stock hov­ered at less than 1 per­cent above its IPO price.

But that didn’t make the ex­pe­ri­ence of go­ing pub­lic on the Big Board — rais­ing $168 mil­lion — any less “won­der­ful” for CEO Sheng Fu.

“We’re def­i­nitely happy with our IPO,” the In­ter­net se­cu­rity com­pany’s CEO said in an in­ter­view Thurs­day at the New York Stock Ex­change. “It doesn’t mat­ter if the stock goes up or goes down in the next few days. It’s more im­por­tant for us to fo­cus on our busi­ness to make sure that we have a good prod­uct for our user and that we ex­e­cute our growth plan and busi­ness plan.” In the long run, he said, “that’s what the in­vestor is look­ing for.”

The Bei­jing com­pany — a spinoff of soft­ware maker King­soft Corp whose sys­tems are used in smart­phones and per­sonal com­put­ers — said 12 mil­lion shares were sold at $14 each, near the high end of the mar­keted price range of $12.50 to $14.50. Man­agers of the of­fer­ing had an op­tion to sell up to 1.8 mil­lion additional shares to meet de­mand.

Trad­ing un­der the CMCM sym­bol, the stock opened at $15.25 and rose as high as $16.43, up 17 per­cent from the of­fer­ing price. By mid­day, the stock was drift­ing down,

It doesn’t mat­ter if the stock goes up or goes down in the next few days. It’s more im­por­tant for us to fo­cus on our busi­ness to make sure that we have a good prod­uct for our user and that we ex­e­cute our growth plan and busi­ness plan.”

SHENG FU, CEO OF CHEE­TAH MO­BILE

end­ing at $14.10, up 10 cents or 0.7 per­cent.

Fu, speak­ing through CFO Andy Ye­ung who acted as a trans­la­tor, said the mod­est start was less im­por­tant than what go­ing pub­lic in the US fi­nan­cial cap­i­tal rep­re­sented: “Our goal is to be­come a first­tier mo­bile In­ter­net com­pany,” Fu said. “Mo­bile and user growth makes our com­pany at­trac­tive to in­vestors glob­ally.”

Chee­tah Mo­bile’s ap­pli­ca­tions had 362 mil­lion monthly ac­tive users as of March, up 80 per­cent from a year ear­lier, ac­cord­ing to a reg­u­la­tory fil­ing.

“De­spite a very choppy mar­ket we had a very suc­cess­ful IPO,” Fu said. “On the road­show, we met with in­vestors and they showed tremen­dous in­ter­est in our com­pany.”

The IPO came two days af­ter Chi­nese e-com­merce jug­ger­naut Alibaba Group Hold­ings Ltd filed to go pub­lic in a US IPO that could be the largest ever, pos­si­bly ex­ceed­ing $20 bil­lion, and con­tin­ued a flurry of IPO fil­ings by Chi­nese tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies. On Fri­day, on­line tour-book­ing web­site Tu­niu is ex­pected to hold an IPO val­ued at $120 mil­lion on the Nas­daq Stock Mar­ket. Three weeks ago, Weibo Corp, the Alibaba-Sina Corp-owned Chi­nese mi­cro blog­ging ser­vice, raised $285.6 mil­lion in a Nas­daq IPO while real-es­tate list­ings web­site Leju Hold­ings Ltd raised $100 mil­lion in an NYSE ini­tial of­fer­ing.

Man­ag­ing the Chee­tah Mo­bile deal were Mor­gan Stan­ley, JPMor­gan Chase & Co, Credit Suisse Group AG, Mac­quarie Cap­i­tal and Op­pen­heimer & Co.

De­spite the crowded, fiercely com­pet­i­tive Chi­nese mo­bile tech­nol­ogy field, Fu said the coun­try has un­tapped po­ten­tial. He cited the com­pany’s user base grow­ing to more than 221 mil­lion in the first quar­ter of this year from fewer than 50 mil­lion a year ear­lier. The com­pany’s 223 mil­lion mo­bile users out­side China also show the com­pany is ready to step up its go­ing­global ob­jec­tive, he said.

“The mo­bile In­ter­net can make the world bet­ter and (cre­ate) a more equal play­ing field for a global com­pany,” Fu said. “In the past, a lot of Chi­nese com­pa­nies would copy the busi­ness model from the US. But to­day, China has some in­no­va­tive mod­els that some US com­pa­nies may not even have.” He cited Alibaba’s dif­fer­ences from Ama­zon and eBay, the US coun­ter­parts with which it is most of­ten com­pared.

“The China In­ter­net space is a very large, full mar­ket,” Fu said. “It is large enough to grow very large, suc­cess­ful com­pa­nies. At same time it is a place with fierce com­pe­ti­tion in the In­ter­net space. A lot of these com­pa­nies have de­vel­oped very in­no­va­tive busi­ness mod­els.”

PHOTO BY / CHINA DAILY

Chi­nese Am­bas­sador to the US Cui Tiankai speaks at the open­ing of an ex­hibit at the Sculp­ture Gar­den of the Art Mu­seum of the Amer­i­cas in Wash­ing­ton on Thurs­day. The ex­hibit

fea­tures sculp­tures of 12 well-known fig­ures from the Amer­i­cas by Chi­nese artist Yuan Xikun (left). Nelly Perez Nu­verge (sec­ond from right), vicemin­is­ter of for­eign af­fairs of the Do­mini­can Repub­lic, and Al­fonso Quinonez (right), sec­re­tary for ex­ter­nal re­la­tions of Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Amer­i­can States, were also present.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Chi­nese in­ter­net se­cu­rity com­pany Chee­tah Mo­bile lists on the New York Stock Ex­change on Thurs­day.

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