Chinese vape manufacturing giant Smoore became a publicly traded company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last week, launching the biggest initial public offering on the HKEX this year. The IPO raised more than $900 million from investors before the stock began trading publicly on Friday.
The initial stock price of 12.40 Hong Kong dollars (HKD) (about $1.61 U.S.) soared as high as 31HKD on the first day of trading, and finished Monday trading at 29HKD. Smoore is now valued at almost $22 billion U.S.
Shenzhen-based Smoore International Holdings Ltd. is less well known than the brands it manufactures, including Vaporesso, CCELL, FEELM, Revenant and Renova. The company also manufactures many products on contract, including some of the most successful vape brands sold by major tobacco companies worldwide, many of which use Smoore-designed heating tech.
Smoore is one of the oldest Chinese vaping manufacturers. The company was founded in 2006 by then-30-year-old Chen Zhiping, who still owns about a third of the company and serves as CEO and chairman of the board. According to Forbes, Zhiping and Smoore executive director Xiong Shaoming both became instant billionaires with the IPO.
In recent years, the company has focused its research and development on atomization technology, developing cutting-edge ceramic heating elements, used in both its CCELL cannabis oil vape devices and FEELM’s closed-system pod products. Smoore says it has more than 600 R&D personnel and over 1,500 patents.
Smoore accounted for 16.5 percent of vaping device sales in the world last year, according to independent business consultants Frost & Sullivan. The company’s annual growth rate has exceeded 100 percent in each of the last three years.
With sales in every vaping market in the world, and a much greater diversity of products, Smoore has surpassed JUUL as the world’s largest vaping business. (JUUL is not publicly traded, but has recently indicated its value is about $13 billion, far below the $38 billion it claimed after Altria’s 2018 purchase of a 35 percent share in the company.)