Alibaba-Backed BEST Inc. Jumps in Debut After IPO Price Cut
BEST Inc., the Chinese logistics provider backed by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, jumped in its New York debut Wednesday after the company slashed the price range for the initial public offering.
BEST’s shares, traded under the ticker BSTI on the New York Stock Exchange, opened at $11.48 and climbed as much as 18% to a high of $11.89 in early trading. The stock finished its first day at $10.52.
Hangzhou-based BEST sold $450 million of American depositary shares for $10 each, raising less than half the original goal of as much as $1 billion through the New York listing. Despite the reduced size, it was still the largest U.S. IPO of a Chinese company this year.
BEST, founded by former Google executive Johnny Chou, joined several Chinese courier companies in going public, such as ZTO Express, S.F. Holding and YTO Express. Even as the country’s logistics market grows into the world’s largest, some competitors have shown weaker-than-expected stock performance after an initial surge.
Shares of ZTO Express, another major logistics company listed in New York, have traded at more than 20% below their offering price after steadily moving downward since its IPO last October.
Weaker-than-expected demand forced BEST to lower its IPO price range to between $10 and $11 from the previously announced $13 to $15. Alibaba, which already owns 23% of Best, said it would buy as much as $150 million of the IPO shares, underlining the weak demand.
Contact reporter Han Wei (email@example.com)
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