NEW YORK - Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd raised $175.5 million in an initial public offering and priced shares above the proposed range, an underwriter said on Tuesday.
Qihoo 360 said it was China's No 3 Internet company by user base and the leading provider of Internet and mobile security products.
Its 360 Safe Browser is the second-most-popular Internet browser in China after Microsoft Corp's Internet Explorer, the company said, citing iResearch.
Qihoo 360's IPO - a relatively big one for its type - comes on the heels of a rush of similar Chinese Internet companies in the fourth quarter of 2010, such as online video company Youku.com Inc and Internet retailer Dangdang Inc.
So far this year, Chinese IPOs have seen little traction as the shares of the companies that listed in New York have dropped below their offer prices.
Beijing-based Qihoo 360 had filed with US regulators to sell the American Depositary Share (ADS) for $10.50 to $12.50, but a source with direct knowledge of the IPO plans told Reuters earlier on Tuesday the company planned to raise the price-range guidance to $13.50 to $14.50 for each ADS because of significant investor demand.
The source also said venture capital and private equity companies Sequoia Capital, Highland Capital Partners, Trustbridge Partners and CDH Investments had agreed to buy $50 million of the company's shares in a concurrent private placement.
Qihoo 360 sold 12.1 million ADSs for $14.50 each, the underwriter said.
The shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "QIHU" on Wednesday.
UBS Investment Bank led underwriters on the IPO.
(China Daily 03/31/2011 page17)