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Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi targets over $60 billion valuation in NYSE debut By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Didi logo is seen at the headquarters of Didi Chuxing in Beijing, China November 20, 2020. REUTERS/Florence Lo/File Photo

By Anirban Sen and Niket Nishant

(Reuters) -Didi Global Inc, China’s largest ride-hailing company, is aiming for a valuation of more than $60 billion in its New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) debut, setting it up for what is likely to be the biggest U.S. initial public offering (IPO) this year.

But the terms of the deal suggest a conservative approach for Didi that, according to sources, had earlier been eyeing a valuation of at least $100 billion. Its valuation exceeded $60 billion a year after its 2017 fundraising, sources have said.

Didi has set a price range of between $13 and $14 per American Depositary Share (ADS) and said it would offer 288 million such shares in its NYSE IPO. At the upper end of the range, Didi expects to raise a little more than $4 billion.

Four ADSs represent one Class A ordinary share, Didi said in a regulatory filing on Thursday that was registered under its formal name Xiaoju Kuaizhi Inc.

The IPO will be the one of the biggest U.S. share sales by any Chinese company since Alibaba (NYSE:) raised $25 billion in 2014.

The New York listing plan comes amid a sweeping regulatory crackdown on China’s biggest tech “platform” companies, including Alibaba and Tencent.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported that China’s market regulator has begun an antitrust probe into Didi.

The company is backed by Asia’s largest technology investment firms including SoftBank Group Corp, Alibaba Group Holdings and Tencent Holdings (OTC:).

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Before settling for New York, Didi had considered Hong Kong as a potential venue for a multi-billion dollar IPO in 2021.

DIDI’S OPERATIONS

Excluding China, Didi, the world’s largest mobility-technology platform, operates in 15 countries and has more than 493 million annual active users globally.

Didi CEO Cheng Wei said last year the firm aims to have 800 million monthly active users globally and complete 100 million orders a day by 2022, including ride-sharing, bike and food delivery orders.

It counts as its core business a mobile app used to hail taxis, privately owned cars, car-pool options and even buses in some cities.

It became the top online ride-hailing business in China after market-share battles with Alibaba-backed Kuaidi and Silicon Valley-based Uber (NYSE:)’s China unit, both of which were merged with Didi when investors sought profit from the money-losing businesses.

In 2016, Uber sold its operation to Didi for a 17.5% stake in the Chinese firm, which also made a $1 billion investment in Uber. The U.S. firm now owns 12.8% in Didi, IPO filings show.

In addition to ride-sharing, Didi operates different businesses around mobility, including electric vehicle charging networks, fleet management, car making and autonomous driving.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:) and J.P. Morgan are the lead underwriters for Didi’s NYSE float. It added more than a dozen new ones on Thursday, including BofA Securities, Barclays (LON:), China Renaissance, Citigroup (NYSE:), HSBC and UBS Investment Bank.



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