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Clock Ticks Down to Starbucks Challenger Luckin’s New York Trading Debut

By Yang Ge / May 17, 2019 01:05 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China’s answer to Starbucks is just hours away from its trading debut in New York, in what will become one of the biggest new initial public offerings (IPOs) by a Chinese firm on the Nasdaq this year.

So far the signs are looking good for Luckin Coffee Inc., whose rapid-fire opening of thousands of its signature minimalist stores has put it on track to soon pass Starbucks in terms of China outlets.

The company’s American depositary shares (ADS) priced at the top of their range, at $17 to be exact, allowing Luckin to sell 10% more shares than its original plan due to strong demand, a source with direct knowledge of the deal told Caixin. At the end of the day, Luckin sold 33 million ADSs, raising a cool $561 million, the source said.

The shares will make their trading debut when U.S. stock markets open for business at 9:30 a.m. New York time Friday.

That debut will cap one of the fastest listings ever by a Chinese firm in New York. Luckin was founded just two years ago by a group of former rental car company executives, and only opened its first store a year and a half ago. It has been losing major money as it opens new stores at a breakneck pace and offers nonstop promotions to bring people through its doors.

Related: China Starbucks Challenger Boosts Fundraising Target for Fast-Moving IPO

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