Maoyan Weying, China’s biggest online movie ticketing firm, has filed for a $1bn IPO in Hong Kong, confirming previous reports of the move.

The company, which is backed by Beijing Enlight Media and Tencent Holdings, was formed in September 2017 through the merger of rival ticketing platforms Maoyan and Beijing Weiying Technology. It filed for the initial public offering on Monday.

The financial terms and time frame of the offering were not disclosed.

However, the planned IPO, which is jointly led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, is expected to raise around $1bn, according to earlier estimates. It would make Maoyan Weying the first major Chinese ticketing platform to be publicly listed.

Around 80 per cent of all China’s movie tickets are sold through mobile apps, with Maoyan Weying taking the crown as the largest ticketing provider with a 60.9 per cent market share in the first half of 2018, according to the firm’s IPO prospectus.

Last year, China’s box office revenue jumped more than 15 per cent to 52bn yuan ($8bn/€6.6bn/£6bn), making it the second largest cinema market after the US.

Maoyan Weying raised 1bn yuan from Tencent in a November funding round that valued the company at 20bn yuan. In addition to its ticketing platform, the company has also distributed and marketed movies in China including ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’.

Image: Assianir