Chinese hotelier Home Inns & Hotels Management is to seek a listing on the US stock market to fund further development in its domestic territory.
The economy operator has identified 100 cities where it wants to open hotels and believes the US market is best placed to appreciate the opportunity.
The bulk of pan-industry Chinese IPOs had been heading to London where the lighter touch regulation was seen as preferable to the rigours of Sarbanes-Oxley. But in the case of hotel companies, it is likely the more developed understanding of the lodging industry and significant amount of listed groups in the US has persuaded Home to head to that country.
In Europe, understanding of hotels in the wider investment community is still developing. While property investors are beginning to get to grips with the sector, equity investors, have, if anything, retrenched over recent years.
A key reason behind this is the privatisation of so many companies, particularly in the UK which had been the most developed market for listed hoteliers in Europe. Without an active community of public equity investors, an IPO for something as exotic as a hotel company is a tough sell.
Home, meanwhile, is likely to attract significant attention. It already has 82 hotels in operation and has a further 57 in development. Its model is either to lease and operate or to franchise to hotels of between 80 and 150 rooms.
It is a growth story: revenue doubled last year to $30m. It hopes to raise up to $57.5m which it will use to upgrade existing hotels, expand, and pay down debts.
David Jian Sun is the chief executive with two co-chairman, Yunxin Mei and Neil Nanping Shen.