Meitu Said to Draw Ports, Kingkey Group to $710 Million IPO

  • Mobile developer Meitu plans to start share sale on Tuesday
  • Share sale could become test case for Hong Kong tech listings

Chinese mobile developer Meitu Inc. plans to seek as much as $710 million after setting the terms for its Hong Kong initial public offering, potentially the city’s largest technology listing in nearly a decade, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The maker of selfie apps aims to offer 574 million shares at HK$8.50 to HK$9.60 apiece, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. Ports International Enterprises Ltd., the controlling shareholder of Hong Kong-listed fashion company Portico International Holdings Ltd., and Chinese property developer Kingkey Group have agreed to buy stock in the offering as cornerstone investors, the people said.

Meitu’s apps, with about 450 million monthly active users, help people appear more attractive in photos by slimming faces, lengthening limbs and even applying make-up. The company, which gets 95 percent of its revenue from mobile-phone sales, is convinced its community of app users can be turned into a lucrative base for e-commerce and advertising, people with knowledge of the matter said this month.

At the low end of the price range, the Meitu offering would be the city’s largest first-time share sale by a technology company since Alibaba.com Ltd.’s $1.7 billion offering in 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company will start taking orders from investors Tuesday, the people said. 

An external spokesman for Xiamen-based Meitu declined to comment in an e-mailed statement. A representative for Portico International didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment, while a spokeswoman for Kingkey Group said she couldn’t immediately comment.

Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse Group AG and China Merchants Securities Co. are joint sponsors of the offering, according to a pre-listing filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange.

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