Business Day

Chinese vaping company considers IPO

- Agency Staff

Shenzhen IVPS Technology, the company behind e-cigarette device brand Smok, is considerin­g an initial public offering to raise at least $500m in Hong Kong as soon as 2022, say informed sources.

The vaping device maker is working with an adviser to prepare for the potential share sale, said the sources, who asked not to be identified as the informatio­n is private.

The offering could raise between $500m and $1bn, the people said. Deliberati­ons are at an early stage and details of the potential offering such as timing and size may change, according to the sources.

IVPS did not respond at once to requests for comment.

Founded in 2010, IVPS makes vaping kits under its Smok brand, according to its website. The devices are used by more than 80-million consumers globally.

China’s ministry of industry & informatio­n technology proposed a draft regulation in March that would apply the same rules for the convention­al tobacco industry to the e-cigarette sector.

The aim is to regulate production and marketing of new types of tobacco products and prevent false advertisin­g and quality issues, the document said, without giving details.

The move was seen as a further blow to the vaping industry after Beijing banned online sales of e-cigarettes in 2019.

Share prices of several Chinese e-cigarette companies plunged after the draft’s release in March, and Hong Kong-listed device maker Smoore Internatio­nal’s shares are down about 40% this year.

While rising regulatory scrutiny of the vaping industry could affect investor appetite for listings in the sector, IVPS could be less affected because it makes the device rather than the e-cigarette liquid, one of the people said.

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