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Tencent Music may start trading publicly on 12 December


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Hold that speculation that Tencent Music’s IPO may slip into 2019. Bloomberg is reporting that the Chinese music-streaming giant may begin trading in New York on 12 December, having delayed its IPO from October. Although the story carries a prominent caveat: “Timing of the offering hasn’t been finalised and could change depending on market conditions.”

The article comes shortly after speculation that Tencent Music might wait until next year to go public, in an effort to ride out the current bumpy market that’s seen Spotify’s share price fall, but which has also dented wider tech stocks. Suggestions that December flotations aren’t a good idea had also filtered in to the speculation, but it seems Tencent Music may be ready to fire the starting gun on life as a public company nonetheless.

Based on the company’s IPO filing back in October, it’s trying to raise $1bn – half the $2bn mooted earlier in the year – although given recent market trends, the potential valuation of $30bn that was thrown around at the time of the filing could change.

As we reported in October, the filing showed that Tencent Music generated $1.66bn of revenues in 2017, up 151.8% year-on-year, while recording a net profit of $199m. The company had 800 million unique monthly active users at the end of June across its four biggest products: streaming services QQ Music, KuGou and Kuwo, and karaoke app WeSing. 23.3 million people were paying for them in some way.

The filing also showed by Tencent Music isn’t a direct match for Spotify in the dynamics of its business: In 2017, $476m of its revenues came from music-streaming, and $1.18bn from ‘social entertainment’ – WeSing and livestreaming-video apps. The filing also revealed that Warner Music and Sony Music already own shares in Tencent Music; that like Spotify Tencent Music has a program for artists to upload music directly to its platforms; and that the company does not have plans “for any significant overseas expansion” beyond China.

Stuart Dredge

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