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Chinese Online Grocery Operation Dada Seeks $280 Million in U.S. IPO

By Denise Jia / Jun 02, 2020 05:38 AM / Business & Tech

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JD.com-backed grocery delivery operation Dada Nexus Ltd. updated its prospectus Monday for a U.S. initial public offering of as much as $280.5 million, moving a step toward becoming the first Chinese company to list in the U.S. after new legislation passed the Senate last month that would make such listings more difficult.

The Shanghai-based company plans to offer 16.5 million American Depositary Shares (ADSs) at $15 to $17 each, according to a prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Senate bill cracking down on Chinese listings hasn’t cleared the House of Representatives.

The offering would value the company at $3.5 billion to $4 billion. The company plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol DADA. Goldman Sachs, BofA Securities and Jefferies are joint bookrunners on the deal.

Dada said existing investors JD.com and Walmart Inc. have expressed interest in becoming cornerstone investors. JD.com may subscribe as much as $60 million and Walmart as much as $30 million of ADSs. After the offering, JD.com will hold a 45.3% stake and Walmart 9.5%, Dada said.

Founded in 2014, Dada began as a logistics specialist offering short-haul intra-city delivery services. In 2016, it acquired JD.com’s JD Daojia, one of China’s early grocery delivery units.

Increasing smartphone penetration and the growing popularity of delivery services in China have helped Dada’s revenue surge over the past few years from 1.2 billion yuan in 2017 to 3.1 billion yuan in 2019. Revenue more than doubled in the first quarter of 2020, according to the updated prospectus.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (huijuanjia@caixin.com) and editor Bob Simison (bobsimison@caixin.com)

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