By Kane Wu and Scott Murdoch
HONGKONG -Chinese artificial intelligence start-up SenseTime Group plans to price its shares at HK$3.85 ($0.4936) each to raise $740 million in its revised Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO), according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
The sources could not be named as the information has not been made public.
SenseTime declined to comment to Reuters.
The company sold 1.5 billion shares in the deal, its second attempt to list in Hong Kong in a matter of weeks. It had flagged a HK$3.85 to $HK3.99 per share price range when the deal was relaunched on Monday. Its initial attempt was shelved after SenseTime was placed on a U.S. investment blacklist as the institutional bookbuild was being finalised. The decision by the U.S. Treasury meant U.S. investors could not buy into the offering which was withdrawn while SenseTime revised its prospectus. SenseTime increased the value of the cornerstone investors from $450 million to about $511 million in a bid to have the IPO carried out successfully. Among its nine cornerstone investors are China’s state-owned Mixed Ownership Reform Fund, which committed the largest portion of $200 million, Shanghai government-backed Xuhui Capital and Shanghai Guosheng Group, state-owned carmaker SAIC Motor Corp Ltd and Hong Kong government fund HKSTP Venture Fund. Hong Kong-listed ophthalmic services provider C-MER is the only non-state cornerstone investor. In its revised prospectus, SenseTime said the investment ban would have no impact on its business operations. SenseTime shares are due to start trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on December 30.
($1 = 7.7993 Hong Kong dollars)