China's Tencent Music raises nearly $1.1 billion in U.S. IPO

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[December 12, 2018]  By Joshua Franklin and Julia Fioretti

NEW YORK/HONG KONG (Reuters) - China-based music streaming company Tencent Music Entertainment Group <TME.N> said it raised close to $1.1 billion in its U.S. initial public offering (IPO) after pricing its shares at the bottom of its targeted range.

A Tencent sign is seen during the fourth World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, December 4, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

The music arm of gaming and social network giant Tencent Holdings Ltd <0700.HK> priced its American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) at $13 per share, at the low end of its indicated $13 to $15 per share range, it said in a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The IPO values Tencent Music at $21.3 billion and shows how companies are defying a bout of market volatility with flotations.

Tencent Music sold 41 million ADRs, while existing shareholders sold a further 40.9 million, the filing said.

Tencent Music's IPO tops off a bumper year for U.S. listings by Chinese companies, with $7.9 billion raised before Tencent Music's debut, Refinitiv data showed.

That is the highest amount since 2014, the year of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's <BABA.N> record $25 billion IPO.

Tencent Music's U.S. IPO is the fourth largest among Chinese firms this year by deal value. Video streaming company iQiyi Inc <IQ.O> leads with its $2.4 billion listing, followed by online group discounter Pinduoduo Inc <PDD.O> at $1.6 billion and electric vehicle maker NIO Inc <NIO.N> at $1.15 billion.

Returns for investors have been mixed, with the 31 Chinese IPOs in 2018 down an average of around 11 percent as of Dec. 10, according to data provider Dealogic.

With streaming apps QQ Music, KuGou, Kuwo as well as karaoke app We Sing, Tencent Music is China's largest online music platform boasting more than 800 million active users monthly.The firm is often compared with Spotify Technology SA <SPOT.N> but offers more socially interactive services that make it profitable while its Swedish counterpart is not.

Tencent Music initially planned to launch the deal in October but postponed because of a sell-off in global markets roiled by a U.S.-China trade war and fears of slowing global growth.

Tencent Music reported a 244 percent profit jump for January-September to $394 million. By comparison, Spotify lost a net $520 million.

Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan are the lead sponsors of Tencent Music's deal.

Tencent Music is due to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday under the symbol "TME" <TME.N>.

(Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York and Julia Fioretti in Hong Kong; Editing by Sandra Maler and Paul Tait)

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