Chinese search-engine Sogou's IPO priced at $13/ADS
Nov 10 2017 by Michele Stevens
Sogou's initial public offering was priced at $13 per American depository share, at the high end of the expected $11 to $13 range, and raised $585 million.
Shares of Sogou rose as much as 13.1 percent on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday morning, valuing the Beijing-based firm at $5.76 billion.
Sogou parent Sohu previously made an IPO for its game unit, Changyou, but is now trying to privatize the company due to weak performance that included a net loss and falling revenue in Changyou's latest reporting quarter. The shares are expected to begin trading in the USA on Thursday.
Sogou isn't the only large Chinese float this week, with another Tencent part-owned company China Literature Ltd. going public in Hong Kong Wednesday.
Proceeds from the offering will be used for research and development and marketing purposes, Sogou said in its IPO filing.
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Sogou brought in $597.2 million in revenue for 2016. Sogou says this massive user base represents a largely untapped opportunity to make money through ads. Sogou is controlled by internet portal operator Sohu.com Inc., but counts Tencent as a major shareholder with almost 40% of the company.
Beijing-based Sogou, which competes with Baidu and Alibaba's UCWeb, reported net income of $66.7 million for the nine months ended September 30, compared with $45.4 million for the same period a year earlier.
Notably, given potential news of a Snap Inc. takeover, Sogou's largest shareholder is Tencent Holdings Ltd., the same company that was disclosed yesterday to have taken a 12 percent stake in the Snapchat messaging app maker.
Tencent's other notable investments include stakes in ride service Lyft, electric auto maker Tesla Inc (O:) and most recently a substantial investment Snapchat owner Snap Inc (N:).
The flotation was jointly managed by U.S. banks JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, along with Credit Suisse and China's CICC.