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ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LIMITED

(BABA)
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Alibaba-backed Best Inc raises $450 million in IPO after slashing terms

09/19/2017 | 11:02pm EDT
A man walks in the compound of a distribution hub of the Chinese logistics company Best Inc in Beijing

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese logistics firm Best Inc priced its U.S. initial public offering at the bottom of expectations, raising $450 million after it revised terms of the deal to cope with tepid investor demand.

Up to $932 million had originally been expected for the listing, underscoring how some fast-growing companies may have to temper their expected valuations to lure investors burned by recent underperforming IPOs.

The offering was the biggest by a Chinese firm in the United States since rival express delivery firm ZTO Express Inc (>> ZTO Express (Cayman) Inc (ADR)) raised $1.4 billion in October. ZTO's stock has traded below its IPO price since debuting and is down 22 percent from the listing price.

Best, which is backed by Alibaba Group (>> Alibaba Group Holding), priced 45 million American depository shares (ADS) at $10 each, the bottom of a $10 to $11 indicative range, Thomson Reuters publication IFR said on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the deal.

Best declined to comment on the IPO pricing when contacted by Reuters.

The company had initially expected a price range of $13 to $15 per ADS and an IPO consisting of 53.56 million new shares and 8.54 million existing shares.

The revised IPO one day before its market debut suggested weak investor enthusiasm for the original terms. The slump in ZTO's share price also prompted some investors to balk at Best's initial pricing, a person close to the deal told Reuters.

Best, founded by former Google executive Johnny Chou, faces stiff competition from Chinese logistics firms such as S.F. Holding (>> S.F. Holding Co Ltd), YTO Express (>> YTO Express Group Co Ltd) and STO Express (>> STO Express Co Ltd), all of which recently went public in China, the world's biggest logistics market.

Best was banking on China's booming logistics market to justify its valuation, but concerns over competition, along with rising fuel and labour costs prompted some investors to balk at Best's initial pricing.

Best reported a net loss of 623.8 million yuan ($94.9 million) for the six months ended June 30. Total revenue rose 133.5 percent to 8.10 billion yuan, driven by its freight and express delivery business.

Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, led by Jack Ma, holds a 23.4 percent stake in Best.

(Reporting by Fiona Lau of IFR; Additional reporting by Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru and Elzio Barreto in Hong Kong; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and Stephen Coates)


© Reuters 2017
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LIMITED 1.64% 218.38 Delayed Quote.-6.17%
ALPHABET INC. 0.31% 2450 Delayed Quote.39.79%
BEST INC. -6.08% 1.7 Delayed Quote.-16.67%
EXPRESS, INC. 0.18% 5.72 Delayed Quote.528.57%
STO EXPRESS CO.,LTD. 1.18% 7.73 End-of-day quote.-23.31%
US DOLLAR / CHINESE YUAN RENMINBI (USD/CNY) -0.23% 6.4597 Delayed Quote.-0.78%
YTO EXPRESS GROUP CO.,LTD. 0.10% 9.9 End-of-day quote.-13.91%
ZTO EXPRESS (CAYMAN) INC. 2.02% 30.36 Delayed Quote.4.12%
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Sales 2021 707 B 109 B 109 B
Net income 2021 166 B 25 650 M 25 650 M
Net cash 2021 418 B 64 626 M 64 626 M
P/E ratio 2021 23,5x
Yield 2021 -
Capitalization 3 832 B 592 B 593 B
EV / Sales 2021 4,83x
EV / Sales 2022 3,61x
Nbr of Employees 251 462
Free-Float 89,7%
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Yong Zhang Executive Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
John Michael Evans President & Director
Wei Wu CFO, Director & Head-Strategic Investments
Li Cheng Chief Technology Officer
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