Didi Chuxing Has Filed Confidentially for U.S. IPO

Asia’s top ride-hailing startups are pushing ahead with listing plans, as they seek to take advantage of a boom in equity offerings to fund expansion in everything from food delivery to autonomous driving.

Beijing-based Didi Chuxing has filed confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering that could raise several billion dollars, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Its Southeast Asian peer Grab Holdings Inc. aims to announce a merger with a blank-check company in the U.S. as soon as this week in a deal valued at more than $34 billion, the people said.

Didi Chuxing Has Filed Confidentially for U.S. IPO

These listings pave the way for some of the largest tech debuts globally this year as demand for ride services and ride-sharing jumped after pandemic-induced disruptions in Asia. Didi and Grab are also capitalizing on a rebound in tech stocks as the Nasdaq Composite Index is again charging toward an all-time high.

Didi has tapped Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley as underwriters for its U.S. listing which could value the company at as much as $70 billion to $100 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. It is raising $1.5 billion through a revolving loan facility to shore up capital ahead of the share sale, Bloomberg News reported last week.

The startup is also exploring a potential dual listing in Hong Kong at a later time, one of the people added.

Didi, the Chinese version of Uber Technologies Inc., acquired its U.S. rival’s China business in 2016. The SoftBank Group Corp.-backed company is stepping up efforts to grow its presence in strategically important sectors like autonomous driving and technologies like artificial intelligence chips. It has also just raised about $1.5 billion for its on-demand trucking unit earlier this year, Bloomberg News has reported.

Separately, Singapore-based Grab has attracted backing from T. Rowe Price Group Inc. and Temasek Holdings Pte for its planned merger with Altimeter Growth Corp., the people said. The firms have expressed interest in joining a private investment in public equity offering, or PIPE, to support Grab’s combination with the blank-check company, the people said. BlackRock Inc. is also in talks to participate in the PIPE, which could raise about $4 billion, they added.

At a valuation of more than $34 billion, Grab’s deal could become the biggest SPAC merger ever, according to data complied by Bloomberg, and would see the startup become one of the first Southeast Asian unicorns to go public through a blank-check company.

Didi and Grab are set to test investor appetite for the capital-intensive ride-hailing business. Uber, which raised $8.1 billion in an IPO in 2019, saw its share dive in March 2020 as the pandemic led to lockdowns in major cities globally. The stock has since quadrupled and even reached a new high in February this year.

Details of Didi and Grab’s listings could still change as deliberations continue, the people said. Representatives for Didi, Grab, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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