- The WSJ reports Sina (SINA +4.5%) is planning a $500M Q2 IPO for Weibo, and has hired hired Credit Suisse and Goldman to handle the offering.
- The paper adds Alibaba (ABABA) will likely up its stake in Weibo to 30% from its current 18% (purchased last year for $568M) in the event of an IPO. Sina currently owns 71% of Weibo, a stake Barclays thinks is worth $4.1B; the company's total market cap currently stands at $5.1B.
- Sina has made huge strides in monetizing Weibo in recent quarters. The microblogging service's ad sales rose 46% Q/Q and 125% Y/Y in Q3 to $43.7M, and its value-added service revenue rose 26% Q/Q and 121% Y/Y to $9.7M.
- At the same time, Weibo's engagement rates have been pressured by the manic growth seen for Tencent's (TCEHY) WeChat mobile messaging platform. Weibo had 60.2M daily active users at the end of Q3, +11% Q/Q. WeChat ended Q3 with 271.9M monthly active users, +15% Q/Q.
- Sina might make an official announcement in tandem with this afternoon's Q4 report.
Sina reportedly prepping Weibo IPO, shares gain ahead of earnings
Feb 24 2014, 10:56 ET