Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi plans U.S. IPO in 2018: source

Mon May 16, 2016 5:26am EDT
 
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By Elzio Barreto and Sangameswaran S

(Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing, Uber Technologies Inc's main rival in China, is working toward an initial public offering in the United States that would likely take place in 2018, a person with knowledge of the plan said on Monday.

The Apple Inc-backed firm is valued at around $25 billion and its stock market listing would be the most high-profile by a Chinese company in the United States since Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's (BABA.N: Quote) IPO two years ago.

Didi has ruled out a stock market flotation in China, said the person, who declined to be identified as the discussions about a listing were private. There are nearly 800 companies waiting to get regulatory approval for an IPO in China, making it hard to predict when a listing might happen.

A Didi spokeswoman in Beijing said the company currently had no IPO plan.

The company, which dominates the ride-sharing market in China, was formerly known as Didi Kuaidi and was formed last year from the merger of two companies backed separately by e-commerce giant Alibaba and social network firm Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK: Quote).

Bloomberg earlier reported that Didi was targeting a New York listing as soon as next year. But the person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters a 2017 listing would be too early.

Didi is currently seeking to raise $3 billion from investors in its latest funding round, which includes an investment of $1 billion from Apple (AAPL.O: Quote). It had originally planned to raise $2 billion, but hiked its target after Apple's investment, the person added.

Company President Jean Liu met with Apple CEO Tim Cook in Beijing on Monday.   Continued...

 
A taxi driver is reflected in a side mirror as he uses the Didi Chuxing car-hailing application in Beijing, China, September 22, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo