The move is expected to help reduce damage to Tencent’s pricing.
The company’s entry into the US financial markets has been in the works for some months. Some analysts estimated its flotation at $20-30bn, making it one of the largest IPOs in the US this year—placing it on a par with Spotify, where the Chinese company orchestrated a share swap—with Spotify owning 9% on Tencent, and Tencent owning 7.5% of Spotify.
The music streaming giant was expected to launch its roadshow to investors this week and start trading on the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ in the week of October 22. However, sources have told The Wall Street Journal that those plans will now be held off until November. Tencent operates services like QQ Music, Kugou, Kuwo and WeSing.
According to its F-1 document filed earlier this month, Tencent requested to trade under the symbol TME with the Securities and Exchange Commission, setting the stage for its flotation. The company had already announced it would spin off TME in a regulatory filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, where its shares are traded.
A slump in the US markets last week caused a tremor in Asia and Europe, which almost certainly put a wrinkle in Tencent’s plans. Last week, Wall Street suffered its worst one-day drop in eight months, and the index slipped again on Thursday.
A source told Reuters: “Given the recent challenging market conditions, it won’t be a good idea for the company to go ahead with the listing timetable. It makes more sense to wait till the market recovers a bit.”
The company hasn’t responded to the reports.
TME should hope for clearer skies before it takes the plunge. Currently, the business operates multiple music streaming services in the world’s most populous market (1.4bn) with a staggering 800mn combined monthly active users in the first quarter, though only a small fraction of those users are said to pay for music streaming, perhaps just 15mn or so.
As of right now, TMG boasts licensing deals with more than 200 labels and upwards of 20mn licensed works.