Atour Lifestyle Holdings Ltd., a Chinese hotel chain, has filed to sell its American depositary shares on the Nasdaq Global Market.
The Shanghai-based company is taking advantage of the rebound in travel as the global pandemic has subsided. Atour operates several hotel brands, including high-end and budget, and positions itself in the “an upper midscale” segment. Citing market research by Frost & Sullivan, Atour said in its prospectus, filed Tuesday, that it was the largest hotel chain in China in terms of room number as of the end of 2020.
Atour employs the manachise model as it expands its network in a less capital-intensive manner, and leases the properties of the hotels it operates. As of March 31, the company counted 33 leased hotels and 575 manachised hotels, according to the prospectus.
In 2020, Atour booked $244.8 million in revenue, nearly flat with 2019. In the first quarter of 2021, however, it saw revenue double year-over-year to $64.1 million. Net income was $5.9 million in 2020 and $1.8 million in the three months through March.
Funds from the IPO will expand Atour’s hotel network in China, boost its service offerings and enhance branding. A portion of the proceeds will be used for IT and technology, including digital operating systems and data analytics.
The company is led by Haijun Wang, former executive vice president at Chinese hotel chain Huazhu Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: HTHT; HKEX: 1179). Wang founded Atour in 2013.
Atour is backed by Asia’s largest travel booking platform, Trip.com Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: TCOM).
Underwriters on the deal are BofA Securities, Citigroup Global Markets, CICC Hong Kong, and CMB International Capital.
The placeholder target IPO amount is $100 million; the terms of the deal are yet to be determined. Last month, CNBC wrote, citing sources, that the company seeks a valuation of $2 billion at IPO and plans to raise up to $300 million.
Atour hopes to become publicly traded under the ticker symbol "ATAT."