High Tech Computer completes debut GDR

World''s largest manufacturer of Windows-based pocket PC''s raises $101 million from a GDR offering.

Lead manager Goldman Sachs priced a 6.55 million unit GDR offering for Taiwan's High Tech Computer (HTC) on Friday. The company marks a new client for Goldman and a switch of houses from UBS, which led a convertible for the group earlier this year and also previously held a mandate for a GDR.

The deal encompassed an equal mix of new and old shares and was priced at a slim discount to spot. At an issue price of $15.42, the offering came at a 5% discount to the stock's NT$138 close.

There is a ratio of one GDR per share and greenshoe of $10 million. Selling shareholders comprised three affiliated groups controlled by VIA Technologies, the chairwoman and her husband who also runs VIA.

Pricing was particularly impressive given that the deal represents a fairly hefty 30 days trading volume and the context of an underlying market, which rose 1.1% over the course of last week. HTC, by contrast rose 8.7% between Monday when Goldman started to market the deal and Friday when it priced.

Over the course of the year, however, it has underperformed the TWSE and is only up 11.89% versus 35.76% for the overall index. The stock's high was recorded in mid-January when it hit NT$158.33.

A number of houses now have a buy recommendation on HTC after it released strong sales figure for October. At NT$2.735 billion, sales were up 69.8% month-on-month and 58.8% year-on-year.

The company recently started shipping its third Microsoft Smartphone and also added two more customers to its client list - Italy's TIM and Spain's Telefonica. It now has five of the six major European cellular players on its books -Orange, O2 and T-Mobile.

Books for the deal are said to have closed about two times covered with participation from about 45 accounts in a rough split which saw 40% placed into each of Asia and Europe, with 20% going to the US.

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