India Markets closed

Exclusive: Chinese e-commerce portal Yunji Weidian taps banks for U.S. IPO - source

By Joshua Franklin

(Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce portal Yunji Weidian has hired investment banks for an initial public offering it plans to launch in the United States early next year, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

Yunji hopes to fetch a valuation of between $7 billion and $10 billion in the IPO, and has mandated Morgan Stanley (MS.N), Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN.S) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) to lead the listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange, the source said, requesting anonymity because the plans are not public.

The company, which broke even in 2017 and expects to be profitable in 2018, has plans to raise around $1 billion in the IPO, the source said. Yunji has more than 35 million active users, the source added.

Representatives for Yunji, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan declined to comment.

The Yunji listing would follow other Chinese e-commerce companies public in the United States, including Alibaba (BABA.N), JD.com (JD.O) and Pinduoduo Inc (PDD.O).

Pinduoduo, which has a market capitalisation of around $23 billion, went public in July in an IPO that priced at the top of its targeted range.

But since the IPO its stock has struggled, with Chinese regulators investigating Pinduoduo after media reports of third-party vendors selling counterfeit goods on its group-discounting marketplace.

Like Pinduoduo, Yunji allows consumers to purchase items both individually and as a team. However, Yunji's platform offers more Chinese and international brands.

Crucial to both Yunji and Pinduoduo's rapid growth has been the rise of China's top social media app WeChat, which users use to discuss potential purchases.

Yunji's main investors include Asia-focused private equity firm Crescent Point and China's CDH Investments.


(Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)