Au­to­ on track for NYSE list­ing by mid-month


Au­to­mo­tive in­for­ma­tion por­tal Au­to­ plans to make its de­but on the New York Stock Ex­change on Dec 11, which will make it the fifth Chi­nese tech firm to be listed in the United States in 50 days. Ac­cord­ing to US web­site, the Bei­jing-based com­pany hopes to raise $102 mil­lion by of­fer­ing 7.82 mil­lion shares priced be­tween $12 and $14 apiece.

Deutsche Bank Se­cu­ri­ties and Gold­man Sachs ( Asia) LLC are the joint bookrun­ners on the deal.

De­scrib­ing it­self as the largest online auto in­for­ma­tion plat­form in the coun­try, Au­to­ said ear­lier in its IPO prospec­tus re­port that it achieved 831 mil­lion yuan ($172 mil­lion) in sales rev­enue for the 12 months ended Sept 30, with net profit of 334 mil­lion yuan.

Founded in 2005, the com­pany saw strong rev­enue growth in the past three years, from 253 mil­lion yuan in 2010 to 433 mil­lion yuan in 2011 and 733 mil­lion yuan in 2012.

With more than 80 mil­lion reg­is­tered users, the com­pany had nearly half of the mar­ket share in its sec­tor as of Septem­ber, with 46 per­cent of the to­tal time spent by users on au­to­mo­tive web­sites, four times that of the fol­low­ing player. Au­to­ re­ceives some 5 to 7 mil­lion vis­its a day.

The por­tal’s largest share­holder — Tel­stra Corp Ltd, an Aus­tralian telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and me­dia group — first in­vested $7.6 mil­lion to ac­quire a 55 per­cent stake of the com­pany in 2008, and it then spent $3.7 mil­lion in 2012 to raise its stake to 71.5 per­cent.

Based on Au­to­’s cur­rent es­ti­mated value of about $1.4 bil­lion, Tel­stra’s in­vest­ment in the Chi­nese por­tal in­creased more than 500 per­cent in five years, an­a­lysts said.

Af­ter the IPO pipe­line on the main­land ground to a halt in Oc­to­ber 2012, Chi­nese com­pa­nies, es­pe­cially those in the tech sec­tor, started to con­sider list­ings in the US af­ter sev­eral suc­cess­ful cases.

Online shop­ping web­site and so­cial net­work ser­vice YY Inc were the only two Chi­nese com­pa­nies that were listed in the US in 2012, com­pared with 41 com­pa­nies in 2010 and 12 in 2011. How­ever, their IPO re­turns reached 177 per­cent and 32 per­cent, re­spec­tively. Con­tact the writ­ers at li­fang­fang@chi­ cn and gaoyuan@chi­nadaily.


Au­to­ tests its auto chair for chil­dren at the 2013 Guangzhou Auto Fair last month. The com­pany gen­er­ated 831 mil­lion yuan ($172 mil­lion) in sales for the year ended Sept 30, with net profit of 334 mil­lion yuan.

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