Bitcoin mining rig maker files for $1-billion IPO

Canaan Creative, the world’s second-biggest maker of bitcoin mining hardware, has submitted an application for a Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise about $1 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Chinese company aims to start trading as soon as July, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

A listing of Canaan would be the first Hong Kong IPO from the cryptocurrency industry. The company has about 15 percent share of the global market for bitcoin mining chips and computer equipment, trailing Chinese rival Bitmain, according to a February report from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

Canaan, founded in 2013, sells computer equipment under the “Avalon” brand with fast customized chips that win digital coins by solving complex math problems. The company’s hardware often ends up in remote locales housing large mining pools that depend on cheap electricity, Co-Chairman Jianping Kong said in an April interview.

The company also announced last year it was developing dedicated chips for use in artificial intelligence applications.

No final decisions have been made, and details of the offering could change, the people said. Kong, the Canaan co-chairman, declined to comment on details of the IPO preparations.

Canaan was preparing last year to list on China’s National Equities Exchange and Quotations, an over-the-counter market known as the New Third Board, before opting to pursue a Hong Kong IPO.

In 2016, electrical equipment manufacturer Shandong Luyitong Intelligent Electric Plc attempted to acquire Canaan, according to filings at the time. The deal didn’t go through due to the “great uncertainties” surrounding China’s securities environment and regulatory policies, Shandong Luyitong said in a September 2016 statement to the Shenzhen stock exchange.

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Bitcoin mining rig maker files for $1-billion IPO