D.he Chinese Uber competitor Didi is apparently aiming for an IPO in Hong Kong in the coming year. The travel agent, which is funded by companies such as Softbank, Alibaba and Tencent, has started initial talks with investment banks, said several people familiar with the matter. Didi could be valued at more than $ 60 billion in the IPO. The issue is planned for the first half of 2021. Didi said there were no fixed stock exchange plans.
The Chinese-based group, like its competitors Uber and Lyft, has been considering a share placement on New York’s prestigious Wall Street in recent years, according to insiders. Companies can often reach more investors there and in many cases also raise more money. Because of the ongoing trade dispute between China and the United States and the restrictions on Chinese companies in America, Didi has now opted for Hong Kong, it said.
Financing round planned
The company, which was founded eight years ago, has been making “healthy profits” since the second quarter of 2020, according to industry experts. Some of the investors are now interested in silvering their shares. Before going public next year, Didi is planning a private financing round to increase the valuation. The price developments of Uber and Lyft, which are listed on Wall Street, have so far been below the high expectations of investors. Both stocks currently cost less than when they went public, and Lyft has lost more than two-thirds of its value since then.
Uber and Didi have been closely related for some time. After an expensive marketing campaign aimed at conquering the Chinese market, Uber sold its China business to Didi in 2016 and received a 17.5 percent stake in Didi. In addition to the classic transport service, Didi is also active in bus transport and bicycle rental.
Dufry collects more money than expected
Meanwhile, the duty-free shop operator Dufry, which has been hard hit by the coronavirus crisis, has raised a gross amount of 820 million francs (765 million euros) with the announced capital increase – significantly more than originally planned. The new titles were issued for 33.22 francs, as the company announced on Tuesday. Among other things, Dufry wants to use the money to finance the planned withdrawal from the stock market of the American subsidiary Hudson.
As part of the transaction, Alibaba and the financial investor Advent also invested 6.1 and 11.4 percent in the Basel-based company. Alibaba will also invest a further 69.5 million francs in Dufry via a convertible bond, for which the Chinese will receive around 2.1 million shares. Dufry and Alibaba have agreed on a joint venture in the travel retail sector.