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Xiaomi secures seven cornerstone investors for US$6.1b HK IPO

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The big investors include US chipmaker Qualcomm, Chinese express delivery company SF Express, domestic telecom service provider China Mobile and state-run conglomerate China Merchants Group.

Hong Kong

CHINESE smartphone maker Xiaomi has lined up US$548 million from seven cornerstone investors including US chipmaker Qualcomm for its Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) of up to US$6.1 billion, according to a term sheet seen by Reuters.

Xiaomi, which also makes Internet-connected devices, has set a price range of HK$17 (S$2.94) to HK$22 each for its listing in the Asian financial hub, one of the biggest tech floats globally in recent years, the term sheet showed.

Other cornerstone investors include Chinese express delivery company SF Express, domestic telecom service provider China Mobile, state-backed investment firm CICFH Entertainment and state-run conglomerate China Merchants Group.

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The seven will take up a combined 10 per cent of the shares being offered in the IPO, and the company will open the book to intuitional investors on Thursday.

The IPO values the Beijing-based company at US$54.3 billion - or US$70.3 billion after a 15 per cent "greenshoe" or over-allotment option which can be sold if there is demand.

If the greenshoe is exercised, Xiaomi's free float will be 9.99 per cent of its enlarged share capital.

Xiaomi is selling about 2.18 billion shares in the IPO, 65 per cent of which are primary, according to the term sheet. The selling shareholders are early investor Morningside, a Chinese venture capital firm, and Xiaomi managers Wong Kong Kat, Liu De, Heng Feng and Li Wanqiang.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that Xiaomi lowered its likely valuation to a range of US$55 billion to US$70 billion following its decision to delay its mainland share offering until after its Hong Kong IPO.

The delay was triggered by a dispute between the company and regulators over the valuation of its China depositary receipts (CDRs), sources said, casting doubt on Beijing's efforts to lure foreign-listed Chinese tech giants back home.

Xiaomi had been expected to raise up to US$10 billion, split between its Hong Kong and mainland offerings.

The delay to its CDRs is a blow for Chinese officials, who designed them as a means for China to compete globally for major tech listings and give mainland investors access to the country's tech champions.

Xiaomi's blockbuster Hong Kong offering on the other hand is set to be the first listing under new exchange rules designed to attract tech floats, as competition heats up between Hong Kong, New York and the Chinese mainland.

China's largest provider of on-demand online services, Meituan-Dianping, also plans to file for a Hong Kong IPO later this week, which would be the city's second multibillion-dollar tech float this year, said people familiar with the matter.

Xiaomi was set up in 2010 and doubled its smartphone shipments in 2017 to become the world's fourth-largest maker, showed data from Counterpoint Research, defying a global slowdown in smartphone sales.

CLSA, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are joint sponsors for Xiaomi's Hong Kong IPO. REUTERS

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