Coupang Pares IPO Surge Before Insiders Get Early Shot to Sell


Coupang Inc. insiders may be poised to unload shares on Thursday, thanks to an unusual provision that’s allowing them to seize on early gains a little over a week after the company’s initial public offering.

By Monday, shares of the South Korean e-commerce giant had surged 44% since the March 10 IPO. But they have since given back some gains, dropping as much as 4% Wednesday, the last day before early investors in the company are free to sell some of their stakes.

That’s because a rare provision in the deal’s prospectus allows them to bypass what’s typically a six-month lockup period. The company deliberately excluded an unusual amount of investors from buying shares in the IPO, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg, prompting speculation about whether Coupang’s deal was priced artificially low to ensure quick gains for early investors.

The shares must continue trading above $35 for the expiry to be triggered, according to securities filings. They’re currently well above that limit, hovering near $46.

Next week, most pre-IPO shareholders will also be released from their lockup agreements if the stock is trading for at least $46.55.

Read more: Coupang’s Pop Positions Insiders for Oddly Fast Exit

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