Xunlei IPO on Nasdaq raises $88m
Updated: 2014-06-24 22:57
By JACK FREIFELDER in New York (China Daily USA)
Xunlei Ltd, one of China's largest digital media providers, went public on Tuesday on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, raising just shy of $88 million.
Managers of Xunlei's offering sold 7.315 million American depositary shares (ADS) at $12, above the marketed range of $9 to $11 per share. Trading under the symbol "XNET", shares opened at $12 and hit a high of $15.55 in the early morning before eventually closing at $14.90, up $2.90, or 24.2 percent.
"We are very proud to be here to celebrate this moment of our history," said Sean Zou, Xunlei's CEO, in an address before Tuesday's opening bell. "Becoming listed on Nasdaq has been one of our key goals for many years, but the listing … is just the beginning of a new year of growth for the company."
Xunlei, founded in 2003, is an Internet-based firm with its headquarters in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. The company offers a number of high-tech services throughout China, including media content downloading, online video streaming and pay-per-view video services.
Xunlei's cloud computing-based platform provides users with access to manage a wide variety of entertainment content like games, music and videos.
Tom Wu, Xunlei's CFO, said Xunlei's business model focuses on "serving the user base", which he said reaches almost 50 percent of China's Internet population.
"For us, coming to list on a major US exchange is a milestone," Wu said on Tuesday in an interview with China Daily. "It has one of the highest corporate governance standards in the world, and also exchanges that can reach the widest investor base."
"The strategic prerogative for the company going forward is really to focus on our ‘core competency', which is technology, innovation and users' needs," he said. "Xunlei's backbone started over 10 years ago, and innovation is absolutely in our blood and DNA."
Xunlei is the No 1 acceleration-product provider in China, with close to 300 million monthly visitors for the three-month period that ended on March 31, according to iResearch, a China-based Internet consulting group.
Lead underwriters managing the deal were JP Morgan Securities LLC and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. Oppenheimer and Co Inc acted as a co-manager.
Xunlei has also secured a concurrent private placement deal with Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi Inc that in conjunction with stock options for underwriters could bring the total from Xunlei's offering to more than $100 million.
In 2011, Xunlei drafted plans to bring a $114 million offering on Nasdaq but shelved the effort due to uncertain market conditions.
Francis Gaskins, the director of research for financial industry website equities.com, wrote in an email to China Daily that Xunlei's decision to list now was "just a move to access the US IPO investor market".
"The IPO window is open, the averages are near an all-time high and these companies are doing IPOs because they can," said Gaskins, who is also the president and founder of IPOpremium.com.
Wu, Xunlei's CFO, said: "Looking back, the company has progressed tremendously over the last three years. Investors now have a longer track record to look at too. People are buying into our future, but the past is important because it's a demonstration of what this management team is capable of executing."
Xunlei is the latest Chinese company to go public in the US this year, a list that now includes the better part of 20 companies, according to Bloomberg News.
Two weeks ago, Zhaopin Ltd, China's most popular online jobs site, raised $75.7 million in an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. And just over a month ago, e-commerce giant JD.com raised $1.78 billion in the biggest IPO in the US by a Chinese company to date.
JD's listing also gave the firm a foothold in the US market ahead of its much larger rival Alibaba Holdings Group Ltd, China's No 1 e-commerce firm. Alibaba's IPO, expected to be held later this year, could exceed $20 billion, according to some estimates.
Xunlei Ltd, a Chinese digital media company, netted $87.8 million in an IPO on the NASDAQ in New York on Tuesday. [Jack Freifelder/China Daily]