China Tower eyes $8.8 billion from Hong Kong IPO: Reuters

Mobile phone infrastructure company China Tower is planning to raise up to about US$8.8bn from a Hong Kong IPO at a valuation of up to US$35bn, according to people close to the deal.

The company is talking to potential cornerstone investors ahead of the listing and is planning to sell about 25% of its enlarged share capital, the people said. The US$35bn valuation would be the top end of an indicative price range.

China Tower is set to open books on July 23 and price the deal on August 1, according to the people, who added that the terms and timing of the deal could still change before books open on Monday.

At about US$8.8bn, China Tower’s IPO will surpass the HK$42.6bn (US$5.4bn) listing of Xiaomi earlier this month, becoming the world’s largest IPO since Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s US$25bn US listing in 2014.

Adding a standard greenshoe option of 15% of the base deal size would bring the proceeds to about US$10bn, in line with earlier expectations.

China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom set up China Tower in July 2014 to be responsible for the construction, maintenance and operations of their telecommunications towers and infrastructure across the country.

China Mobile holds a 38% stake in China Tower, China Unicom has 28.1% and China Telecom 27.9%. State asset management firm ChinaReform Holding has a 6% stake.

CICC and Goldman Sachs are the joint sponsors for the China Tower float.