Chinese internet giant Baidu Inc. is planning an initial public offering of its video-streaming site iQiyi.com that could value the unit at up to US$5 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
Baidu is considering listing iQiyi in either Hong Kong or the US next year.
The company is planning to issue a convertible bond or similar instrument to raise funds from investors before the IPO, although the size and timing of that fundraising was not clear.
iQiyi is expected to raise about US$1 billion through the IPO but the exact amount is not kmown. Also, terms could change as the company negotiates with prospective investors.
iQiyi said at its annual marketing conference in Shanghai in October that it planned to invest as much as 10 billion yuan (US$1.4 billion) to buy and produce content in the coming year.
A spokeswoman for iQiyi declined to comment.
The plans come after an aborted attempt by the Chinese search giant’s chief executive Robin Li to buy the unit earlier this year for US$2.3 billion.
The IPO, which is expected to value iQiyi at between US$4 billion and US$5 billion, is likely to be seen as a better deal for Baidu shareholders than the buyout bid in February by a consortium led by Li, which also included iQiyi founder and CEO Yu Gong.
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