By Noor Zainab Hussain
Jun 30 (.) – Shares in Didi Global Inc soared nearly 19% in its debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, valuing the private transportation giant at $ 80 billion in the largest ever company opening. China in the United States since 2014.
Shares of Didi backed by SoftBank opened at $ 16.65, which compares to the Initial Public Offering (IPO) price of $ 14 per share. The firm had placed an expanded offering of 316.8 million American Depositary Shares (ADS) at the top of its $ 13-14 range, raising $ 4.4 billion.
The New York IPO will be the largest share sale by a Chinese company since Alibaba raised $ 25 billion in 2014.
Didi, which is also backed by tech investment giants Alibaba, Tencent and Uber, was co-founded in 2012 by Cheng Wei as Didi Dache, a taxi app. He merged with his peer Kuaidi Dache to become Didi Kuaidi and was later renamed Didi Chuxing.
At the debut price, the firm’s CEO Cheng stake in Didi is worth $ 5.22 billion. He came up with the idea for a transport platform on a frigid winter night in Beijing when he had trouble getting a taxi.
SoftBank is Didi’s largest investor and will own a 20.2% stake in the company after the IPO. Tencent will hold 6.4%, while Uber will retain 12% of Didi. Cheng will have a 6.5% stake in the company he created.
Didi, the world’s largest mobility technology platform, bought rival Uber’s business in China in 2016 but the San Francisco-based company held a stake in Didi at the time.
Didi’s listing also makes it the latest Chinese firm to access US capital markets amid tensions between Washington and Beijing. Despite the political confrontation, 29 Chinese companies raised $ 7.6 billion after their IPOs in the United States in the first half of the year, according to Refinitiv data.
Morgan Stanley Investment Management had indicated interest in underwriting up to $ 750 million in shares in Didi’s IPO and Singapore’s Temasek for $ 500 million. Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan were the main underwriters in the transaction.
(Report by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru, Edited in Spanish by Manuel Farías)