Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi set to open over 14% higher in mega U.S. IPO

·2 min read
Didi headquarters in Beijing

(Reuters) - Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Global Inc shares were set to open more than 14% higher in their New York Stock Exchange debut on Wednesday, valuing the SoftBank-backed company at more than $77 billion.

At 11:25 a.m. ET, Didi shares were indicated to open between $15.5 and $16, compared with the initial public offering price of $14 per share.

Didi priced an upsized offering of 316.8 million American Depositary Shares at the upper end of its $13 to $14 range, raising $4.4 billion.

Its listing in New York will be the biggest U.S. share sale by a Chinese company since Alibaba raised $25 billion in 2014.

The biggest Chinese listing in the United States so far this year was Full Truck Alliance, often referred to as "Uber for trucks", which raised $1.6 billion.

Didi, which is also backed by technology investment giants Alibaba, Tencent and Uber, was founded in 2012 by Cheng Wei as Didi Dache, a taxi-hailing app. It merged with peer Kuaidi Dache and became Didi Kuaidi, later renamed Didi Chuxing.

Didi, the world's largest mobility-technology platform, went on to buy rival Uber's China business in 2016 and the San Francisco-based company now holds 12% stake in it.

In 2018, Didi said it would invest $1 billion in its auto services business, part of a larger unit rebranding. It has also invested heavily to expand its core business outside its home market by either pouring money in local partners or launching their services.

It currently operates in 4,000 locations across 16 countries and has more than 490 million annual active users, according to a recent regulatory filing.

Didi's listing also makes it the latest Chinese firm to tap U.S. capital markets even as tensions between Washington and Beijing continue.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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