SoftBank-Backed KE Set to Raise $2.1 Billion in U.S. IPO

KE Holdings Inc., a Chinese online property platform backed by SoftBank Group Corp. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., raised $2.1 billion in a U.S. initial public offering priced above the marketed range.

KE, also known as Beike Zhaofang sold 106 million American depositary shares for $20 each, according to a statement. The company had marketed the shares for $17 to $19 apiece.

The offering is the largest by a Chinese company in the U.S. since iQiyi Inc. raised $2.4 billion in March 2018, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

KE is valued in the IPO at $22.5 billion based on the outstanding shares listed in its filings, marking a success for SoftBank which invested $1.3 billion at a $10 billion valuation. The company was last valued at about $14 billion in 2019, according to CBInsights data.

Despite worsening tensions between the world’s two largest economies and an accounting scandal at a U.S.-listed Chinese startup earlier this year, firms from the Asian nation have received a warm reception from U.S. investors. Chinese electric-vehicle startup Li Auto Inc. last month raised $1.1 billion in a U.S. IPO that was also priced above its range.

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. China Renaissance Holdings Ltd. invested at least $860 million in the company as well, said one of the people.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, China Renaissance and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are leading the offering. The shares are expected to begin trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BEKE.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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