Maoyan Weying, China’s biggest online movie ticketing platform, is planning a Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise about $1 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The company, which also helped fund the latest “Transformers” movie, has held initial discussions with potential advisers about the share sale, according to one of the people. It is targeting a listing later this year, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.
Maoyan Weying, whose backers include Shenzhen-listed film producer Beijing Enlight Media Co., was formed in September through the merger of two rival ticketing platforms. Its other investors include Tencent Holdings Ltd., the biggest Chinese internet company, as well as Meituan Dianping, the country’s largest group-buying and restaurant reviews service.
China’s box-office receipts rose 15 percent last year to 52 billion yuan ($8 billion), making it the world’s second largest movie market after the U.S. Almost 80 percent of movie tickets in the country are sold through mobile apps, and Maoyan Weying is the largest ticketing provider with a 52.5 percent market share as of the third quarter 2017, according to researcher Analysys.
A spokesman for Maoyan Weying said he couldn’t immediately comment, while representatives for Enlight Media and Tencent declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Meituan confirmed that Maoyan Weying plans to seek a listing, without elaborating further.
Maoyan Weying raised 1 billion yuan from Tencent in a November funding round that valued the company at 20 billion yuan. In addition to its ticketing platform, the company has also distributed and marketed movies in China including “Transformers: The Last Knight.”