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China's Full Truck Alliance targets in U.S. IPO

(Reuters) -China’s Full Truck Alliance Co Ltd (FTA) said on Tuesday it is aiming for a valuation of over $20 billion in its U.S. initial public offering, marking another high-profile Chinese stock market listing in New York this year.

FTA, which styles itself as “Uber for trucks” and is more popularly referred to as Manbang in China, said it is offering 82.5 million American Depositary Shares (ADS) at between $17 and $19 per ADS. Each ADS represents 20 Class A ordinary shares.

At the top end of the price range, FTA could raise as much as $1.57 billion from the IPO´╝îwhich would make it the largest U.S. listing for a Chinese company this year, according to data provider Refinitiv. Chinese vaping firm RLX Technology Inc raised $1.4 billion in its U.S. IPO in January.

Those figures are expected to be dwarfed in the coming weeks when China’s largest ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing launches its IPO, which is expected to be the biggest share sale of the year. Reuters has previously reported that Didi could raise as much as $10 billion from its stock market flotation.

A spate of richly valued Chinese tech startups have targeted IPOs in the U.S. in recent years, as they can tap into the deepest capital pool in the world and avoid tighter regulatory scrutiny in major Asian exchanges like Hong Kong.

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

Chinese companies have so far raised $5.82 billion in the United States this year, according to Refinitiv data.

FTA, formed out of a merger in 2017 between two digital freight platforms, Yunmanman and Huochebang, is led by former Alibaba executive Peter Hui Zhang.

The company runs a mobile app that connects truck drivers to people that need to ship items within China. It was the world’s largest digital-freight platform by gross transaction value last year, according to research from China Insights Consultancy that was commissioned by the company.

In November, FTA was valued at nearly $12 billion after a $1.7 billion investment, Reuters reported. That investment round was led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank’s Vision Fund, Sequoia Capital, Permira Capital and Fidelity.

China’s tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd is also one of the company’s backers.

Morgan Stanley, CICC and Goldman Sachs are among the underwriters for FTA’s offering in New York. The company plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “YMM”.

Reporting by Echo Wang in Asheville, North Carolina, Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Richard Pullin

Source: Reuters


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