China Trucking Startup Raises $1.6 Billion in U.S. IPO

Full Truck Alliance Co., an Uber-like trucking startup, has raised $1.6 billion after pricing its U.S. initial public offering at the top of a marketed range, in one of the biggest listings stateside by a Chinese company this year.

The startup backed by SoftBank Group Corp. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. sold 82.5 million American depositary shares Monday for $19 each, according to a statement. It had marketed its ADS at $17 to $19 each, with one ADS representing 20 ordinary shares.

The company -- known as Manbang in Chinese -- will have a market value of $20.6 billion based on outstanding shares listed in its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

At the same time that it is selling stock in its IPO, the company is raising $100 million each from private placements of its shares -- one with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and the other with an entity affiliated with Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company PJSC.

Full Truck Alliance’s IPO rivals e-cigarette maker RLX Technology Inc.’s $1.6 billion listing in January as one of the largest by a Chinese company in the U.S. this year. If its underwriters exercise a so-called greenshoe, or over-allotment option, the Chinese company’s IPO could raise as much as $1.8 billion.

Full Truck Alliance, which operates a truck-sharing app connecting merchants that need shipping of their goods with truck drivers, is going public after a buoyant June 11 Nasdaq debut of Kanzhun Ltd. -- the owner of Chinese online recruitment platform Boss Zhipin.

Kanzhun shares are almost double from its IPO price, underscoring a renewed appetite for listings by Chinese companies after a lull when several put their U.S. listing plans on hold in May. Companies based in China and Hong Kong have raised $8.6 billion in U.S. IPOs so far in 2021 -- almost four times the total last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

One deal eagerly anticipated by investors is that by China-based ride-hailing giant Didi, which filed this month for a U.S. IPO that could value it at as much as $100 billion, Bloomberg News has reported. Its IPO could be one of the largest listings globally this year.

Full Truck Alliance, based in Guiyang, the capital of the southwestern Guizhou province, was formed from a merger between China’s two largest truck-sharing platforms -- Huochebang and Yunmanman. Apart from Tencent and Softbank, Full Truck’s backers include Alphabet Inc.’s CapitalG, Sequoia Capital China, Fidelity International and Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital.

The company posted a loss of $532 million on net revenue of $396 million last year, according to the filings. It said it plans to use the proceeds from its IPO on investing in infrastructure, technology innovation, expanding its service offerings, and for general corporate purposes, including meeting working capital needs and to fund potential acquisitions and investments.

Full Truck’s offering is being led by Morgan Stanley, China International Capital Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Its shares are expected to begin trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol YMM.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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