China Tower ‘to raise $5-$10bn’ in share flotation
Company owned by China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom recruiting investment banks to launch IPO
China Tower, which runs the infrastructure for China’s three mobile operators, has moved closer to offering its shares.
The company, set up in 2014, said at the end of December 2016 that it hoped to have an initial public offer (IPO) of shares in 2017. Now the company has approached investment banks to ask them if they would like to run the offer.
Reports from Hong Kong say that China Tower would offer 10-20% of its shares on the market, raising $5-$10 billion, most of which would go to the three operators.
A flotation at that rate would value China Tower at up to $50 billion.
China Tower was set up in July 2014 by China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, the country’s three mobile operators. It owns the towers and related in infrastructure, but was set up in preparation for significant investment in 5G over the next few years.
China Tower was believed to own and operate a million towers in 2015 with plans to build a further million.
The IPO will take place late this year or early in 2018, said a report from Reuters.
According to figures released when China Tower was set up, China Mobile holds 38%, China Unicom 28.1% and China Telecom 27.9%. The other 6% is controlled by a state asset-management group, China Reform Holding.