SoftBank-Backed Coupang Prices U.S. IPO Above Target


(Bloomberg) — South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Inc. priced its initial public offering above a targeted range to raise $4.2 billion based on the planned size of the share sale, according to a person familiar with the matter.

In one of the biggest listings by an Asian company on a U.S. exchange, Coupang priced its shares at $35 each on Wednesday, the person said, asking not to be identified because the information wasn’t public yet.

The company and its existing shareholders had planned to sell 120 million shares for $32 to $34 apiece. That range had been boosted earlier from $27 to $30, signaling strong demand from investors.

A representative for Coupang declined to comment.

At $35 a share, Coupang would have a market value of about $60 billion, based on the outstanding shares listed in its prospectus. The company is selling 100 million new shares while existing investors are offloading 20 million shares. The IPO price was reported earlier by Dow Jones.

SoftBank’s Return

Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp., its biggest shareholder, is poised to reap a gain of about $16 billion from the IPO, burnishing the reputation of founder Masayoshi Son in picking successful startups even after a number of missteps.

In November 2018, SoftBank’s Vision Fund invested $2 billion in the company in a deal that valued Coupang at $9 billion, people familiar with the matter said at the time. That funding followed $1 billion from SoftBank itself in 2015, valuing the startup at about $5 billion.

Founded in 2010 by Bom Kim, a Harvard University dropout, Coupang has grown into Korea’s version of Amazon.com Inc.

The company has aggressively expanded its delivery and logistics operations, putting 70% of the country’s population within a seven-mile radius of its distribution centers, according to its prospectus filing. Coupang has also invested in new business lines like food delivery and streaming services.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Allen & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are leading the offering. Coupang shares are expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday under the symbol CPNG.

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