Solomon Systech starts pre-marketing

Hong Kong''s first fabless IC design company could price at premium to Taiwanese comps.

Joining the six mainland foundries clamouring to list in Hong Kong is Solomon Systech, which designs the chips made by the foundries. Pre-marketing starts today Monday for a HK$800 million to HK$1 billion $103 million to $130 million IPO under the lead of JPMorgan. Pricing is scheduled for March 30.

Because there are no comparables companies listed in Hong Kong, investors' main focus will be Taiwan. The main comps, Novatech, Mediatech and Realtech, are currently trading at a median PE ratio of 14 to 15 times 2004 earnings.

Solomon Systech is being pitched at wide range of about 12 to 16 times earnings, which spans a discount...

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