Bilibili launches $621 million offering, as China techs tap markets after IPOs

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese video platform Bilibili launched on Tuesday a convertible bond sale and a follow-on share offering that could raise around $621 million combined, in a return to the capital markets just over a year after it went public in New York.

Bilibili, one of China’s leading online video sharing and entertainment platforms, announced the fundraising on Tuesday but did not disclose detailed terms.

The company is selling a $300 million seven-year convertible bond and 17.1 million shares, of which 10.55 million are primary and the rest come from an existing shareholder, according to a term sheet seen by Reuters.

The follow-on offering could raise around $321 million based on Bilibili’s closing price of $18.8 on Monday. Its shares have risen 32 percent so far in 2019.

This year has already seen other U.S.-listed Chinese companies return to the capital markets to raise additional funding, be it through convertible bonds or follow-on offerings, as they seek more growth capital.

Chinese electric vehicle maker NIO, video streaming company iQIYI and e-commerce firm Pinduoduo, all 2018 IPOs, have come back to the market to raise funds.

Bilibili’s convertible bond is being marketed with a coupon range of between 1.375 percent and 1.875 percent, while the conversion premium – the price at which buyers can convert their bond holding into the company’s shares – will fall between 32.5 percent and 37.5 percent, the term sheet showed.

Convertible bonds are a cheaper funding avenue due to their lower coupons in exchange for giving the bondholder the option of converting the debt into shares at a set price in future.

Tech companies find them particularly attractive as normal debt is more expensive for them, especially if they are still unrated, like Bilibili.

Qiming Venture Partners is the selling shareholder in Bilibili, according to the term sheet.

The firm raised $483 million in its Nasdaq initial public offering (IPO) in March last year.

Bilibili plans to use the proceeds from Tuesday’s offering to enrich content offerings, research and development and potential strategic acquisitions, investments and alliances.

The deal will price after U.S. markets close on Tuesday.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley are joint bookrunners for Bilibili’s offering.

Reporting by Julia Fioretti; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

Carol Humphreys