The Tencent Music Entertainment booth at the Beijing Music and Life Show in Beijing, China, May 7 2017. Picture: REUTERS/STRINGER/FILE PHOTO
The Tencent Music Entertainment booth at the Beijing Music and Life Show in Beijing, China, May 7 2017. Picture: REUTERS/STRINGER/FILE PHOTO

Bengalaru — Tencent Music Entertainment Group, on Tuesday, formally filed with regulators to list in the US, under the symbol “TME”, in what could be the biggest US initial public offering (IPO) by a Chinese company.

The IPO of the music arm of Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings — of which Naspers owns nearly a third — comes as the global online music industry gets back on track with more listeners streaming music through smartphone apps, even as companies battle piracy and try to sign up more paying customers.

Tencent Music includes Spotify-like digital streaming apps QQ Music, Kugou and karaoke app WeSing, and is seeking a valuation of about $25bn, according to Thomson Reuters IFR. The company set a placeholder amount of $1bn to indicate the size of the IPO.

The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different. Market leader Spotify Technology debuted in April and its shares rose nearly 13% on the first trading day.

Tencent Music’s biggest shareholders include its parent Tencent, which owns 58.1%, and Spotify, which owns 9.1%.

Chinese companies have already raised $5.9bn from listing in the US so far this year — a record for any year, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Depending on its eventual pricing, Tencent Music could be the biggest this year, ahead of the $2.4bn raised by video streaming service provider iQiyi in March.

In its regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Tencent Music reported a profit of $263m on a revenue of $1.30bn for the six months ended June 30.

Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs (Asia), JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley are some of the lead underwriters for the IPO.

The US listing is a blow to Hong Kong’s ambitions of getting more tech companies onto the city’s bourse by loosening listing regulations, but the new rules do not yet allow corporate entities to benefit from weighted voting rights.

Reuters