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DD. Financial Communications Campaign of the Year


Winner
Campaign Title

Driving Towards Success on a Global Stage and Launching one of the Year’s Most Successful Chinese Company IPOs in the U.S.
Client

Autohome Inc.
Agency

FTI Consulting

The last few years have been challenging for Chinese companies listed in the US. Many have been severely impacted by the global economic crisis, financial accounting scandals at certain Chinese companies, and a host of short-seller attacks targeting difficult-to-understand and non-transparent Chinese businesses. However, in 2013, the market tide began to shift slowly, with a small number of strong and reputable Chinese businesses venturing back towards the U.S. capital market and executing IPOs. Beijing-based Autohome Inc. (Autohome), the number one online destination in China for auto-related information, was one of these companies. In mid-2013, given what it was about to undertake, Autohome recognised the need for an integrated and multi-stakeholder communications programme to fully harness the power of its IPO in the U.S.

The plan was to treat the IPO as an opportunity to showcase the strength of the business and executive leadership, distinguish Autohome from its already publicly-listed chief competitor in China, and set the stage for a strong long-term investor and media relations programme. The PR firm was engaged to help Autohome with this given a track record of assisting with high-profile IPOs around the world, a sophisticated approach to creating integrated investor and media relations programmes, an ability to provide solid cross-border support to a foreign company listing in the US, and a mature understanding of the previous challenges facing Chinese companies in the U.S. and global capital markets.

Autohome’s stock rose more than 75 per cent on the first day of trading, compared to an average increase of approximately 50 per cent for other Chinese IPOs in 2013. It has continued to make significant gains above its IPO-day level, increasing 126 per cent through March 31, 2014.