JQW planning £140m London public offering

 
Oliver Smith
Follow Oliver
CHINESE e-commerce operator JQW has announced its intention to raise up to £15m in a flotation on London’s Alternative Investment Market (Aim) next month.

JQW provides small and medium-sized Chinese business an online platform to advertise their products to other businesses. The company is hoping to use the funds raised to expand its business to an international audience.

The firm is looking at a market capitalisation of £140m when it sells 10 per cent of its stock during its initial public offering (IPO) on 9 December.

“Our members and customers want to export their goods in new markets, especially in European countries, we are looking to launch an international platform and London is going to be the best place to promote this,” finance chief Wei Boon Kooi told City A.M.

Kooi described London’s junior market as the perfect place for JQW, he said, “Aim is built for young fast-growing companies like ours.”

In July JQW was ranked the second most popular Chinese B2B e-commerce destination by web traffic – behind Alibaba, the Chinese site rumoured to be preparing for a public offering in New York soon.

“JQW’s proposed listing on Aim presents an extremely exciting opportunity for the group. The funds raised will help to support the further development of the JQW brand and expansion into other provinces in China, as well as internationally,” said JQW chairman Yongde Cai.

JQW hosts more than 500,000 sales a month through its site which generated 74.5m yuan (£7.6m) in the first six months of 2013, in June this year the company reported profits of 70.8m yuan for the year to date.

“The board has identified a significant opportunity in the B2B e-commerce sector and believes that by further upgrading our hardware and servers, developing a mobile platform as well as a trading and financial platform.

“JQW can capitalise on the increasing use of the internet as well as the growing SME market across China,” added Cai.

ADVISERS

ALAN MACKENZIE
ARGENTO CAPITAL MARKETS

Argento Capital Markets is leading the fundraising as JQW’s placing agent with a team led by Alan MacKenzie and Jim McGeever.

Cairn Financial Advisers is acting as nominated adviser and broker to the company, led by Liam Murray and Jo Turner.

MacKenzie has a long history of working with businesses in emerging markets. In April he advised Asian hospital chain Fortis Healthcare on a $100m foreign currency convertible bond while running the London offices of Religare Capital Markets.

He also advised BioFocus, which he co-founded, on its Aim listing in 2005, where the company hit a market capitalisation of £80m before it was acquired by Galapagos.

Public relations firm Text 100, now part of Next Fifteen, saw its market capitalisation grow from £10m to £100m after MacKenzie advised on its listing on the London Stock Exchange’s main market.

MacKenzie has also advised Motion Media, working on its main market listing where it’s market capitalisation grew from £7m to £180m.

In March this year he helped found Argento Capital Markets with a group of former Religare Capital Markets employees.