Kingsoft IPO raises $510 million, in first China IPO in U.S. since virus outbreak

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese cloud computing company Kingsoft Cloud Holdings Ltd raised $510 million in its U.S initial public offering, the first Chinese company to list in the United States since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak sent markets tumbling.

The cloud service provider had planned to sell 25 million shares but increased the size of the deal to 30 million on Friday on the back of better than expected demand from shareholders, parent company Kingsoft Corp said in a statement on Friday.

The deal represented 13.9% of the company’s issued capital and was priced at $17 per share, in the middle of its expected range, valuing the Xiaomi-backed group at $3.7 billion.

Loss-making Kingsoft offers cloud infrastructure as well as enterprise cloud and artificial intelligence services.

Cloud computing has so far been one of the sectors boosted by the novel coronavirus outbreak as it drives more businesses to operate digitally and rely on cloud computing.

The value of the company will rise if a so called ‘greenshoe’ option is exercised and an extra 4.5 million shares are sold within the next 30 days by the banks which underwrote the deal.

Existing shareholders Kingsoft Group, Xiaomi and Carmignac Gestion anchored the IPO, with Kingsoft buying up to $25 million of the stock offered, and Xiaomi and Carmignac buying up to $50 million each, Kingsoft said.

Kingsoft is the first major U.S. IPO by a company that is neither a biotechnology firm nor special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) since Canadian waste management company GFL Environmental in early March. Biotech and SPAC IPOs are typically immune to broader market swings.

The IPO was also the first gauge of U.S. investor demand for Chinese companies going public in New York after a fraud scandal sent shares in Chinese coffee chain Luckin Coffee into freefall last month.

The company is due to start trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange on Friday under the symbol “KC.”

JPMorgan, UBS, Credit Suisse and CICC led the deal.

Reporting by Scott Murdoch in Hong Kong, Joshua Franklin and Echo Wang in New York; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Lincoln Feast.