Foxconn-backed Smart TV-maker Vizio files to go public

Vizio Holding Corp., a privately held American company that designs and sells televisions and soundbars, backed by affiliates of Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group, has filed its S-1 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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“We envision the Vizio smart TV as the center of the connected home — where families play games together, where friends watch movies together, where work and learning happen, and where all things in between take place,” Vizio founder, chairman, and CEO William Wang wrote in a letter that opens the S-1, according to The Verge. “Going public is an important milestone for us as we continue to grow and execute our goals,” he added.

Vizio in its filing Monday revealed that it has sold over 80 million TVs and 11 million soundbars since the company’s founding. In 2020, t sold 7.1 million TVs. Considering their prices, Vizio’s TVs have long delivered value for money performance and picture quality, though in recent years competitors like TCL have tried to outdo the company in this regard. Its devices are sold online, including at Amazon.com, and in stores such as Costco, Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Walmart, and Target.

“We will continue our successful hardware business, iterating on models as we’ve done before, and at the same time build our name in smart TV software,” Wang said.

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Vizio listed the size of the offering as $100 million, in its filing, a placeholder that will change. Another filing later will disclose the number and proposed price for the shares to be offered by the company and selling stockholders.

The company had a net income of $102 million on revenue of more than $2 billion in 2020, compared with 2019’s numbers of $23 million in income on revenue of almost $1.8 billion, according to its filing. Compared to $63 million in platform revenue in 2019, the company earned $147 million in 2020 from its entertainment platform.

Vizio’s Platform+ service, which supports streaming apps and home smart speakers, is comprised of its SmartCast operating system and Inscape, which powers its data intelligence and services.

After the IPO, Wang will continue to control the company, Vizio said. The filing has also revealed that more than 25% of Vizio’s Class A shares are currently held by Foxconn affiliates.

The offering is being led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp with Vizio planning for its shares to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol VZIO.

According to a report by Bloomberg, “Vizio filed to go public in 2015 but withdrew that plan the following year after reaching an agreement to sell the company for $2 billion. Vizio terminated that deal with an affiliate of China-based Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp. in 2017.”

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