In a move that further reflects China’s growing profile in the U.S. flooring business, the solid wood flooring maker Shanghai Anxin Flooring Co. is expected to issue an initial public offering aimed at raising at least $150 million. The company, a manufacturer and distributor of wood flooring that also has more than 400 franchised retail outlets across China, says its mission is to “become one of the largest, most environmentally friendly and responsible manufacturers and distributors of wood flooring products in China and internationally.”

The 13-year old company’s decision to issue an IPO in the U.S. was reported in the South China Morning Postof Hong Kong, which noted that Anxin has not yet determined if it will list on the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq Stock Market. The forthcoming IPO would not be the first time the company has looked to the U.S. for financial backing. In May 2006, the private equity firm The Carlyle Group said it was investing $27.5 million in Anxin.

At the time, Carlyle said the investment would help the flooring manufacturer move further into engineered product with a new line called “Wei Guang,” named after Anxin’s top executive. It will be marketed and distributed in China separately from the company’s flagship line.

“We expect engineered wood flooring to become another key revenue driver in the future,” said Lu Wei-Guang, Anxin’s founder and CEO, commenting on the decision to launch the new line. “Engineered wood flooring is increasingly popular among a broader range of Chinese consumers due to lower material costs. Overall demand for wood floors will remain strong, driven by robust real estate developments throughout China and increasing consumer spending.”

In announcing its investment in the Chinese flooring company, Carlyle described Anxin as “the only end-to-end vertical integrator enjoying high margin and strong growth in China despite volatility in raw material supply.” It went on to say Anxin is well positioned to capitalize on the increased demand for one of “the first movers in the fast-growing engineered wood floor market, which is expected to surpass the market size of solid wood floor in China in five years,” according to Wayne Tsou, Carlyle’s managing director. “Anxin, already the leader in solid wood flooring, will further solidify its leadership under the ongoing domestic market consolidation,” he added.