China's Kada seeks brand recognition via AIM listing

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 02, 2012 5:12 AM

By Brenton Cordeiro and Siddharth Cavale

(Reuters) - China-based Kada Technology Holdings Ltd, which applied on Monday to trade on London's junior market, said it hoped an overseas listing will bring it prestige and more profitable ties with lenders and suppliers.

The tech component distributor expects to be valued at about 100 million pounds ($156.85 million) once it starts trading.

It chose London's AIM market as it was faster than trying to go public in China or in the United States, where volatility and slower listings are major concerns, the company said.

"When we speak to our bank about funding, more financing, they do recognize that a Chinese company listed overseas is not an easy task," Kada Chief Financial Officer Lee Kheng Yam told Reuters.

"It brings with it a certain prestige and corporate brand recognition that would open doors for us in order to get better terms with the banks in China, as well as our suppliers and business associates."

The company would likely start trading on AIM later this month under the ticker symbol "KADA."

There has been a drought in Chinese companies applying for U.S. listings in recent years as accounting scandals and slow growth have shaken investor confidence.

Kada Technologies, which was founded in 2004, distributes and sells electronic components such as chips for netbooks, tablets and other handheld devices.

Kada reported more than $13 million in pretax profit on revenue of about $82 million for 2011 and expects double-digit growth in both profit and revenue this year, the CFO said.

The company is looking to go public at a time when macro-economic issues, including the euro zone crisis and China's economic slowdown, have made many investors shy away from pumping in money into fresh listings.

AIM saw 21 IPOs in the first six months of this year, up from 19 in the first half of 2011.

However, the total amount raised from IPOs globally nearly halved in the same period, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Some bankers are even advising clients to put their listing plans on hold.

But for Kada, which is aiming to raise more than 1 million pounds, a relatively small amount, the intention is to get listed.

"The London market is just a platform for listing and gives us more possibilities for fundraising in the future," Lee Kheng Yam said.

"We could get listed in Hong Kong or China but for us speed is most important and AIM happens to offer such a speedy timeline for us to get listed."

(Reporting by Brenton Cordeiro and Siddharth Cavale in Bangalore; additional reporting by Kylie McLennan in London; ; Editing by Joyjeet Das)