JD.com Inc., the Chinese retailing website backed by Asia’s largest Internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd., is seeking to raise as much as $1.7 billion in its U.S. initial public offering.
JD.com and selling stockholders are planning to offer 93.7 million American depositary receipts for $16 to $18 apiece, according to a regulatory filing today. The company will also sell shares in a private placement to Huang River Investment Ltd., a subsidiary of Tencent, that will provide net proceeds to JD.com of $1.2 billion. Beijing-based JD.com plans to use these funds to retain employees, expand infrastructure and acquire other businesses.
JD.com’s IPO would be the biggest ever for a Chinese Internet company in the U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That may not last, as larger competitor Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. filed this week for a U.S. IPO in a sale that could raise about $20 billion, people familiar with the matter have said. U.S. investors snapped up almost $1 billion in Chinese IPOs last year, a fivefold increase from 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Tencent took a 15 percent stake in JD.com and will transfer its e-commerce business onto that site, according to a statement on March 9. In the deal, Tencent assigned JD.com a valuation that could reach more than $20 billion this quarter, people familiar with the matter said at the time.
With 47.4 million active customer accounts in 2013, JD.com posted $11.5 billion in revenue, the filing shows. The company narrowed its loss to $8 million last year from $50 million in 2012. Electronic products and home appliances accounted for 64 percent of JD.com’s gross merchandise volume last year, according to the filing.
Stockholders include Chief Executive Officer Richard Qiangdong Liu, who is selling 13.9 million shares in the IPO, while Tiger Global Management LLC is offering 13.4 million.
Bank of America Corp. and UBS AG are managing the offering. The company plans to list its shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol JD.