Telstra preps $850m SouFun IPO

Australia's Telstra has commenced an IPO of Chinese online real-estate site SouFun, setting a price range valuing the unit at up to $850 million (€658 million).
 
The company filed a registration statement on Friday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an IPO of American depository shares.
 
The statement sets an indicative price range of $40.50-$42.50 per share, valuing SouFun at between $810 million and $850 million.
 
Telstra, which bought 50.5% of SouFun in 2006 for $254 million, intends to sell its entire holding. The listing is expected to be complete by September 30.
 
The operator has already employed underwriters to buy up any of Telstra's stake not purchased during the listing.
 
Telstra’s decision has led to uncertainty about its future plans for China, The Australian said.
 
SouFun contributed to around half of Telstra's revenue from China, but the company still owns around $300 million worth of other Chinese assets.
 
Management of Telstra's remaining Chinese web properties have been transferred to Telstra International in Hong Kong.
 
Telstra has warned that any gain on the sale of SouFun will be impacted by forex movements since its acquisition.
 
The price range is also lower than expected when proposed last December, when investment bank Macquarie valued Telstra's stake in SouFun alone at up to A$1 billion (€710 million).

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