JD.com’s Liu to Become a Billionaire Following U.S. Stock Sale

Richard Liu, who runs JD.com Inc., the Chinese e-commerce site backed by Asia’s largest Internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd., is poised to become a billionaire following an initial share sale in the U.S.

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 on May 9. The founder, also known as Liu Qiangdong, will own the equivalent of 184.8 million American depository shares after the IPO, giving him a net worth of about $3 billion based on the lower end of the price range.

JD.com’s IPO would be the biggest ever for a Chinese Internet company in the U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The filing came after larger competitor Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. filed last 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. JD.com said on its website it’s China’s largest online direct sales company in terms of transaction volume last year, with a 46.5 percent share of the market in the country.

Liu, who’s listed as 41 years old in the IPO prospectus, is also chairman and chief executive officer of JD.com. He founded the Beijing-based company in 2004 after becoming a distributor of magneto-optical products in Beijing, according to the prospectus. He has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the People’s University of China in Beijing, as well as an executive MBA degree from the China Europe International Business School.

JD.com declined to comment ahead of the IPO.

The company, which sells products from home appliances to books to more than 47 million users, will also offer 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. JD.com plans to use these funds to retain employees, expand infrastructure and acquire other businesses.

— With assistance by Bonnie Cao

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