About that Huawei IPO...October 9, 2012: 11:09 AM ET
FORTUNE -- Yesterday the U.S. House Intelligence Committee issued a report accusing Chinese tech company Huawei of posing a national security threat to the U.S. It was largely a guilt-by-association sort of thing, based on questions about Huawei ties to the Chinese government and, in turn, the Chinese government's alleged involvement in hacking activities.
If such concerns sound familiar, it may be because similar Congressional worries scuttled a 2007 deal whereby Bain Capital and Huawei would have taken 3Com private for approximately $2.2 billion (Huawei would have held a 16.5% stake in 3Com, including in a unit that provided network security software to the U.S. government). 3Com was later acquired by Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) for $2.7 billion.
More recently, however, there have been reports that Huawei is considering an IPO. Actually, these reports have come out intermittently over the past several years – but one earlier this month suggested that the offering would be used, in part, to make the company appear more transparent (including in terms of ownership).
So yesterday I spoke with a couple of tech bankers, to get their take on how the House report could affect the IPO plans. They both told me the same thing: The report ended any likelihood of Huawei listing on a U.S. exchange, given the U.S. government's position on the company and its inability to acquire American businesses. They both felt that a Chinese listing was more likely, although London remained a possibility given the UK government's more charitable view toward the company (at least for now).
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