People's Daily website IPO could raise up to 1.5bn yuan


THE online news portal of the government-backed People's Daily may raise at least twice as much capital from its scheduled initial public offering later this month, based on the pricing range offered by its major underwriter Citic Securities.

People's Daily Online is expected to sell 69.1 million new shares and raise 520 million yuan from its Shanghai listing, according to the prospectus it released last week.

Citic Securities suggested a price range of 16.5 yuan to 21.8 yuan for the IPO, meaning the news portal could raise as much as 1.51 billion yuan, based on the higher end of the pricing range.

In a separate report by Haitong Securities yesterday, it suggested a price range of 19.2 yuan to 12.2 yuan.

The news portal estimated profit to be around 183 million yuan this year, 30 percent up from last year's, company officials said during a roadshow yesterday, Oriental Morning Post reported today.

The news portal will set the price range for the offering on April 16 and announce the final pricing on April 19.

The proceeds will be used to upgrade technology, deliver news on mobile platforms and strengthen its editorial team.

In 2011, revenue at People's Daily Online was 497 million yuan and in 2010 income was 332 million yuan.

People's Daily Online was established in 2001 as an official platform for the distribution of Communist Party news. It remains the most official website for such news and policy announcements.


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