China Mass Media to raise $75 mil

Leading TV ad firm for Olympic broadcaster CCTV

NEW YORK -- China Mass Media, which sells commercial time slots on Olympics broadcaster China Central Television, plans to raise at least $75 million this week in an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.

Beijing-based CMM, owned by founding chairman and CEO Wang Shengcheng, sells CCTV ad slots to such major Chinese companies as Lenovo, China Mobile and China Unicom.

CMM's IPO, underwritten by Merrill Lynch, seeks to raise as much as $103.9 million via the listing of 14.4 million American Depositary Shares, which amounts to about 30% of its total capital. Each ADS is equal to 15 common shares.

In 2007, CMM sold about 35 minutes of ad time each day on leading news channel CCTV-1 and finance channel CCTV-2. In 2008, CMM added overseas channel CCTV-4, and has since seen ad sales rise to 104 minutes each weekday and 78 minutes each Saturday and Sunday.

Since 2004, CMM -- known in China as MMIA, or Mass Media International Advertising Corp. -- has held the right to sell all of the ad slots during the Chinese New Year Gala, a program watched by nearly 40% of Chinese TV viewers.

CMM's IPO is the second by a Chinese TV ad firm in the past month. In June, Hong Kong-based SinoMedia, which sells ad time for CCTV English-language channel CCTV-9, listed in Hong Kong.