Weibo raises $286 million pricing shares at $17 apiece1 min read . Updated: 17 Apr 2014, 03:20 PM IST
The Chinese microblogging service owned by Sina Corp. and Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd., raised $285.6 million its U.S. initial public offering after pricing the shares at the low end of a marketed range
New York/Hong Kong: Weibo Corp., the Chinese microblogging service owned by Sina Corp. and Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd., raised $285.6 million its U.S. initial public offering after pricing the shares at the low end of a marketed range, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Weibo sold 16.8 million Class A American depositary shares for $17 each, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing a private matter.
The shares had been offered for $17 to $19 apiece. The Beijing-based company’s shares will be listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol WB.
From the time Weibo first publicly filed for its IPO on 14 March, the Nasdaq 100 Index dropped 3% through Thursday amid a slump in technology stocks, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Weibo joins seven other Chinese Internet companies seeking capital in the U.S., which have filed to raise a total of $2.8 billion in New York this year—the most since the fourth quarter of 2007.
That doesn’t include China-based Alibaba, which is preparing to go public and which analysts estimate could be the biggest IPO in the U.S. in at least two years. The two IPOs from China-based companies this year, from Tarena International Inc. and IKang Healthcare Group Inc., both have dropped below their offering prices, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
A spokesman for Weibo didn’t immediately answer a call seeking comment on the pricing.
Alibaba agreed a year ago to buy a 19% stake in Weibo for $586 million, and plans to exercise an option to raise that stake to 32%, according to the filing. Weibo plans to use about $250 million of the proceeds from the IPO to repay loans owed to Sina.
Weibo operates a Twitter Inc.-like service that derived 79% of its $188.3 million in revenue from advertising and marketing last year, the filing shows.
That amounted to about $1.46 in sales for each of its 129.1 million active monthly users. Weibo is unprofitable, posting losses for the past three years, the filing shows.