SenseTime relaunches its Hong Kong IPO, excluding US investors

20 Dec, 2021 14:39
source: Singularity Financial

Singularity Financial Hong Kong December 20, 2021 – Chinese artificial intelligence start-up SenseTime Group (0020.HK) relaunched its Hong Kong IPO on Monday, a week after pulling the listing in the wake of the company’s inclusion on a U.S. investment blacklist.

The artificial intelligence (AI) company, founded by a group of professors from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), will issue 1.5 billion shares at between HK$3.85 and HK$3.99, valuing the start-up at HK$132.8 billion (US$17 billion) at the top end.

SenseTime, which is based in both Shanghai and Hong Kong, has updated its list of cornerstone investors that now includes state-owned Shanghai Xuhui Capital, Taizhou Culture & Tourism and HKSTP Venture Fund. The cornerstone investors have agreed to subscribe for $512 million worth of SenseTime shares,

An overallotment option is available to issue another 225 million shares if there is strong demand, SenseTime said. The retail offering starts Monday until Thursday, for the company’s shares to commence trading on the Hong Kong exchange on December 30.

The company, however, warned in an updated prospectus that the U.S. investment blacklist may affect future interest in and the liquidity of its shares. The U.S. Treasury Department added SenseTime to a list of Chinese military-industrial complex companies on December 10, citing its development of facial recognition software that can determine ethnicity and has been used to help the Chinese government identify ethnic Uyghurs in the province of Xinjiang. The move effectively bans Americans from investing in the firm.