China’s Didi reveals US IPO filing, sets stage for blockbuster float

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Didi Chuxing is seen at its headquarters in Beijing, China, May 18, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

Didi Chuxing, China’s biggest ride-hailing firm, on Thursday made public its filing for a U.S. stock market listing, setting the stage for what is expected to be the world’s biggest initial public offering this year.

The company – backed by Asia’s largest technology investment firms, SoftBank, Alibaba and Tencent – did not reveal the size of the offering, but sources familiar with the matter had previously told Reuters that the ride-hailing giant could raise around $10 billion and seek a valuation of close to $100 billion.

At that valuation, Didi’s stock market flotation would be the biggest Chinese share offering in the United States, since Alibaba raised $25 billion in its blockbuster IPO in 2014.

In its filing on Thursday, Didi revealed slower revenue growth in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which grounded the global ride-hailing industry to a halt as lockdowns were enforced all over the globe.

For 2020, Didi reported revenue of 141.7 billion yuan ($22.17 billion), down from 154.8 billion yuan a year earlier. Net loss stood at 10.6 billion yuan in 2020, compared with 9.7 billion yuan a year earlier.

However, Didi started 2021 strongly, as businesses reopened in China. Revenue more than doubled to 42.2 billion yuan (US$6.4 billion) for the three months ended March 31 from 20.5 billion yuan a year earlier.

CHINESE IPO GOLD RUSH

Didi confidentially filed for its IPO in April. A source familiar with the matter on Thursday said Didi was aiming to go public in July.

The mega IPO highlights the lucrative business opportunity presented by Asian tech giants for Wall Street’s big investment banks.

Earlier this year, Singapore’s biggest ride-hailing firm, Grab, struck a $40 billion deal with a special purpose acquisition company, backed by investment firm Altimeter, to go public in the United States.

Last year, Chinese companies raised $12 billion from U.S. listings, more than triple the fundraising amount in 2019, according to Refinitiv data. This year, the raise from Chinese floats on U.S. exchanges is expected to comfortably surpass last year’s tally.

Didi, which merged with then main rival Kuaidi in 2015 to create a smartphone-based transport services giant, counts as its core business a mobile app, where users can hail taxis, privately owned cars, car-pool options and even buses in some cities.

Didi plans to list American Depositary Shares (ADSs) on either Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “DIDI”, the company said.

Didi Chief Executive 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.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and J.P.Morgan are the lead underwriters for the offering.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.