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In-flight media firm looks to tap market

By Wang Fei'er (Global Times)

08:13, January 07, 2013

China Southern Air Holding Company Media Co (China Southern Media), the media unit of China Southern Air Holding Co (CSAH), one of China's largest State-owned airline companies, has submitted an initial public offering (IPO) application to the country's securities regulator, according to a filing its shareholder China Southern Airlines Co made to the Shanghai Stock Exchange Saturday, a move which may pave the way for China's first public float from an in-flight media company.

Established in 2004, the media subsidiary provides magazines, newspapers and advertisements to passengers on the more than 660 domestic and international flights offered by its parent.

CSAH currently owns a 60 percent stake in its media subsidiary, according to its filing.

In December 2010, the media company began phasing out its State-owned corporate structure in favor of a shareholding model, a prerequisite for mainland-based companies prior to listing on the nation's bourses and a strong indication that the company had an IPO proposal in the works, Zhang Xin, an analyst at Guotai Junan Securities, told the Global Times.

Given the tight restrictions on IPOs from the media sector at that time though, China Southern Media didn't make any obvious signs that it was planning to go public for nearly two years, Zhang said.

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