SoftBank-Backed Beike Seeks Up to $2 Billion in U.S. IPO

KE Holdings Inc., a Chinese online property platform backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd. and SoftBank Group Corp., is looking to raise about $2 billion in a U.S. initial public offering.

Also known as Beike Zhaofang, the company is offering 106 million American depositary shares at $17 to $19 each, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. The company said the shares will represent three of its Class A ordinary shares.

At $2.01 billion at the top of that range, Beike’s IPO would be the largest float by a Chinese company on U.S. exchanges since iQIYI Inc. raised $2.4 billion in March 2018, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Despite worsening tensions between the world’s two largest economies and an accounting scandal at a high-profile U.S.-listed Chinese startup earlier this year, firms from the Asian nation have received a warm reception from U.S. investors. The U.S. is discussing whether to restrict Chinese firms’ access to American capital markets while the Senate passed a bill that could lead to them being delisted from U.S. exchanges.

Beijing Homelink Real Estate Brokerage Co., also known as Lianjia, is one of China’s biggest real estate firms. It launched Beike, which means shells in Chinese, in 2018 as its online platform for property brokerage. Beike raised about $800 million from Tencent in a funding round last year while SoftBank invested $1.3 billion at a $10 billion valuation, a person familiar with the matter said earlier.

The deal will be closely watched by investors to see if SoftBank is managing to recover from a string of IPO failures last year. The offering is expected to price on Aug. 12, according to Beike.

Based on the outstanding Class A and Class B shares listed in its filing, Beike would be valued at the top of its IPO range at about $21 billion, well above the $14 billion it was last worth.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, China Renaissance Holdings Ltd. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are leading the offering. Beike plans for the shares to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BEKE.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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