INTERNATIONAL - China’s speedy approval of what will probably be one of its biggest IPOs in history has all the markings of a perfect marriage.
Foxconn Industrial Internet Co., a maker of smartphones, cloud computing equipment and robots, is preparing to list in Shanghai just as the government seeks to revive the nation’s equity market with shiny new tech companies. The Taiwanese giant, a unit of one of Apple Inc.’s top assembly partners, says it’s planning to invest the proceeds on the mainland, also suiting China’s plan to lure the island’s companies.
Foxconn is in many respects the perfect company for Chinese regulators to showcase. Asian grown, globally known, mature and embedded in the supply chains of the world’s most famous tech purveyors, it has straightforward governance structures and is unlikely to fetch a valuation that will offend mainland notions of prudence.
Many of China’s biggest tech companies, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Weibo Corp., list in the U.S. using corporate structures that aren’t allowed in the world’s second biggest stock market and trade at valuations far higher than most mainland companies.
Foxconn’s approval “sets a successful example for other technology firms that want to return to the home market,” said Wang Chen, Shanghai-based partner with XuFunds Investment Management Co. “It’s likely that Foxconn may shift more of its businesses, possibly in research and development segment beyond current manufacturing and assembling, to mainland China.”
With a projected market value of as much as 400 billion yuan ($63 billion), Foxconn could be the largest listing in Shanghai since a spectacular boom and bust that wiped out as much as $5.2 trillion in value from the nation’s equity market three years ago.