UPDATE 1-Alibaba rival JD.com to be valued at up to $24.6 bln in IPO

Fri May 9, 2014 6:48pm EDT

(Adds valuation, listing details)

May 9 (Reuters) - JD.com, China's second-largest e-commerce company behind Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said it expected to price its initial public offering of American depositary shares at $16-$18 each, valuing the company at up to $24.6 billion.

The company said the sale of 93.7 million ADS was expected to raise about $1.69 billion at the top end of the price range. (r.reuters.com/suw29v)

JD.com is offering 69 million ADS in the offering, while the rest is being offered by selling stockholders.

Earlier this week, Alibaba IPO-ALIB.N gave investors a closer look at the scale and growth of the Chinese e-commerce juggernaut in an IPO prospectus, the first step in what could be the largest technology debut in history.

JD.com and other web-based retailers operate in the sizeable shadow of Alibaba, which controls nearly 80 percent of China's internet shopping market.

JD.com, earlier known as 360Buy, has raised $2.23 billion in the past six years from investors including the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's Kingdom Holding Co.

The company counts hedge fund Tiger Global Management and DST Global funds among others among its top stakeholders.

JD.com, like a number of other Chinese companies listing in the United States, relies on a little-tested legal structure called "variable interest entity" that gives an investor economic interest but no ownership.

The company plans to list its ADSs on the Nasdaq under the symbol "JD".

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith and UBS Securities are lead underwriters to the offering. (Reporting By Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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