China game-streaming firm Huya raises $327 million secondary offering

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese game-streaming company Huya Inc, backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd, raised $327 million in a follow-on share offering, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: The Huya logo is shown on the NYSE boards ahead of the company's IPO at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Huya, which went public last year in New York, is part of a growing trend of Chinese tech companies returning to capital markets for cash soon after their initial public offering (IPO).

Huya sold 13.6 million primary shares at $24 each, the people said, a discount of 1.36 percent to its closing price of $24.33 on Tuesday. At the same time, social media platform YY Inc sold 4.8 million of Huya shares, bringing the total proceeds of the sale to $442 million.

Huya did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

There is an over-allotment - or greenshoe option - of up to 15 percent for Huya’s share sale, meaning the firm could raise as much as $375 million if exercised. There is likewise a 15 percent over-allotment for YY’s stake sale.

Huya is China’s biggest live-streaming game platform, according to the offering prospectus, competing with Douyu which plans to go public in New York this year.

China boasts the world’s largest gamer base in e-sports with about 266 million gamers in 2018, the prospectus showed.

Huya’s shares have risen about 55 percent since the firm’s IPO in May, in which it raised $180 million.

U.S.-listed Chinese companies have raised $4.24 billion in follow-on share sales and convertible bonds so far this year, Refinitiv data show, the best start to any year in 15 years.

Other companies from the 2018 IPO cohort returning for more funds include electric vehicle maker NIO Inc, video streaming company iQIYI Inc, e-commerce firm Pinduoduo Inc and video platform Bilibili Inc.

Bankers are pinning their hopes for 2019 on additional capital raising through follow-on offerings or convertible bonds as the crop of Chinese companies looking to go public thins out after a blockbuster 2018 in terms of IPOs.

Many of the companies that went public in 2018 raised less money than they had hoped for - partly due to global market jitters and partly because investors pushed back against lofty valuations - which will drive follow-on capital raising.

Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Jefferies are joint bookrunners for the Huya deal.

Reporting by Julia Fioretti; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Himani Sarkar