Business / Trendsetters prices up IPO to raise $1.78b on Nasdaq debut

By Meng Jing (China Daily) Updated: 2014-05-23 07:02

Chinese e-commerce company Inc has priced its initial public offering in the United States above the marketing range to raise $1.78 billion, suggesting strong demand for Chinese e-commerce companies as larger rival Alibaba Group Holding Inc prepares its own highly anticipated US debut.

Loss-making, backed by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's Kingdom Holding Co, is set to debut on the Nasdaq stock exchange on Thursday in what may be the biggest listing of a Chinese company in the US. prices up IPO to raise $1.78b on Nasdaq debut
Shares of soar 17% in market debut prices up IPO to raise $1.78b on Nasdaq debut prices IPO above expectations

China's No 2 e-commerce company priced its American Depositary Shares at $19 each, above the $16-$18 per ADS indicated range, valuing the company at more than $25 billion, according to its underwriters.

The IPO will not dilute demand for e-commerce giant Alibaba but instead will further consolidate the dominant positions of Alibaba and JD in China's e-commerce market, said Lin Wenbin, an analyst with IT consultancy Analysys International., which has forged a close partnership with Alibaba arch-rival Tencent Holdings Ltd, will raise $1.31 billion from the sale of 69 million ADS.

It would raise another $1.31 billion by issuing shares to Tencent, said. and Tencent agreed to merge their e-commerce operations in March, and as part of that deal, Tencent agreed to subscribe to shares.

"I don't think Alibaba's domination will be challenged, but the rise of JD is unstoppable, especially after teaming up with Tencent Holdings Ltd's popular mobile messaging app WeChat," said Lin.

The 10-year-old company, the biggest direct seller of online goods in China, will remain tightly controlled by founder and CEO Liu Qiangdong after the IPO through special shares that grant him extra voting rights. awarded billionaire Liu a one-off bonus as the company prepared for its IPO, booking share-based expenses of $591 million, according to a securities filing. The award was worth $1.78 billion at the IPO price.

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