April 21, 2011 / 4:30 AM / 7 years ago

Chinese dating site Jiayuan files for IPO of up to $100 mln

* Files to raise up to $100 million through IPO

* $100 mln is a preliminary figure and could change

* To trade on Nasdaq under symbol “DATE”

NEW YORK, April 20 (Reuters) - Dating site Jiayuan.com International Ltd filed for an initial public offering, the latest in a series of Chinese social networking companies to apply for U.S. listings.

The website targets single, city-dwelling adults and has a stated goal of spurring relationships that end in marriage. The company’s shares are expected to trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol “DATE”.

In a filing with U.S. regulators on Wednesday, Jiayuan said it aims to raise up to $100 million in its IPO, but the amount is preliminary and could change. The filing did not specify a price range or the number of American Depositary Shares to be sold.

Jiayuan said it operates the largest online dating platform in China and had more than 40 million registered users at the end of March.

Only 4.74 million of those user accounts were active, on average, during the first quarter of 2011 and less than 1 million of them were paying accounts.

The Beijing-based company is profitable on an operating basis. But after several line items — the biggest of which are income allocated to participating preferred shareholders, the accretion of Series A redeemable convertible preferred shares and taxes — the company posts a loss.

The loss born by ordinary shareholders widened to 8.69 million yuan in 2010, or 9 percent more than it was a year earlier.

Net revenue grew more than 160 percent to 167.59 million yuan during the same period.

Jiayuan plans to use proceeds from the IPO to pay dividends to its owners — Series A preferred shareholders including organizations owned or managed by Jiayuan board members — and for general corporate purposes.

Underwriters on the IPO are being led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citi. (Reporting by Clare Baldwin; Editing by Anshuman Daga)

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