Gome: Going Public
Gome, China's largest electronics retailer, is plotting the best course to go public. Unlike many high-growth businesses in China, Gome has only moderate financing needs. Its charismatic and ambitious chairman Wong Kwongyu has built an expansive retail network in China and successfully used trade credits by suppliers and banks to make Gome a highly cash generative business. The decision to go public has three inseparable components: why, where, and how. Does Gome really face substantial funding shortages for its operations? If so, are there any alternatives other than going public? If not, what are the other potential motivations to go public? Given these considerations, financial and otherwise, which stock market is the best one to list Gome's shares on? And between an IPO and a backdoor listing, which option suits Gome the best in terms of timing, costs, feasibility, and risks? Assuming Gome chooses to go public via a backdoor listing, what is the process and how are transactions structured? Lastly, for Wong and his top managers, how will each listing choice affect Gome's future development in the context of the pending market deregulation and expected industry consolidation?