Alibaba-Backed Best Weighing $1 Billion Express Unit Sale
(Bloomberg) -- Best Inc., a U.S.-listed Chinese logistics company whose shareholders include Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., is considering a sale of its express delivery business, according to people familiar with the matter.
Best is working with a financial adviser on the potential divestment and could seek a valuation of as much as $1 billion for the business, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. A sale could draw interest from other logistics companies, the people said.
Hangzhou-based Best is exploring a range of options as it seeks to raise funds to cut debt, the people said. Considerations are still ongoing, no final decision has been made and the company could decide to keep the express unit, they said.
Best Inc. didn’t immediately respond to emails, calls and LinkedIn messages to representatives seeking comment.
Shares of Best jumped as much as 10.7% in pre-market trading Thursday in New York.
Founded by Johnny Chou, a former executive at Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Best offers a range of logistics services including a supply chain management arm that counts clients including 3M Co. and Li Ning Co., according to its 2020 annual report. In addition to the express business, it also offers freight shipping and UCargo, a logistics brokerage platform.
The company raised $518 million in a 2017 first-time share sale in New York. Its shares have lost more than 17% this year, valuing the company at about $663 million, amid a selloff in U.S.-listed Chinese companies.
Best’s express unit delivers parcels typically weighing less than 15 kilograms through its own centers and a network of more than 5,400 franchise partners, according to its website.
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