Ex-Huawei handset maker Honor prepares IPO

SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) – Handset maker Honor is preparing for an initial public offering, the company said on Wednesday, three years after it was sold by U.S. sanctions-hit Huawei Technologies.

Honor did not specify a time frame for the listing or where it would be, but said in a statement that its market position had greatly improved in the past three years and an IPO would be the next step in its development.

Honor was first in terms of handset shipments in China in the third quarter with 11.8 million units sold, and was the second biggest seller last year, research firm Canalys said.

It was also the fifth largest brand by sales in Europe in the third quarter, getting close to the sales levels seen before its split with Huawei, Counterpoint Research said this week.

Huawei sold Honor to a consortium of more than 30 agents and dealers in November 2020 after the U.S restricted its access to technology essential to its handset business.

Washington has accused Huawei of representing a security threat, an allegation that Huawei has repeatedly denied.

(Reporting by David Kirton; Editing by Louise Heavens, Alexander Smith and Frances Kerry)