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Brazil's Nubank targets over $50 billion valuation in U.S. IPO

(Reuters) -Online lender Nubank is targeting a valuation of over $50 billion for its initial public offering in the United States, which would make it more valuable than Brazil’s largest traditional lender Itau Unibanco Holding SA.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Nubank, a Brazilian FinTech startup, is pictured at the bank's headquarters in Sao Paulo, Brazil June 19, 2018. Picture taken June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/File Photo

The Sao Paulo-based fintech, which was last valued at $30 billion after a funding round led by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, is expected to list its shares before the end of the year.

Last week, Nubank said it had confidentially submitted paperwork for its IPO to U.S. regulators.

In a regulatory filing on Monday, Nubank said it plans to sell about 289 million shares to raise over $3 billion in its IPO. Nubank has set a price range between $10 and $11 a share.

At that size, the flotation will rank as one of the biggest of the year in the U.S., alongside those of e-commerce firm Coupang, Chinese ride hailing company Didi Global and chipmaker GlobalFoundries, which went public last week.

If Nubank secures the valuation it is aiming for in its IPO, it will also leapfrog Itau Unibanco, which currently has a market capitalization of over $38 billion.

Electric vehicle maker Rivian, which is backed by Amazon.com and is reportedly seeking a valuation of over $80 billion for its IPO, is expected to round out a record year for stock market floats.

In its latest filing, Nubank lifted the veil off its finances for the first time, revealing a big jump in growth – its revenue here nearly doubled to $1.06 billion in the nine months ended Sept. 30. Losses in the same period, however, widened to $99.1 million from $64.4 million.

Nubank makes money primarily through fees that are paid by merchants whenever a customer makes a transaction. In October, the online lender had said it managed to turn a profit in the first half of 2021 in its Brazilian operations.

LATAM FINTECH BOOM

Founded in 2013 by David Velez, a Stanford-educated Colombian, Nubank began as an issuer of credit cards that charged no annual fee. The bank has since gained more than 48 million customers and launched products including checking accounts and loans.

A once-in-a-generation internet boom, fuelled by shoppers moving online during the pandemic, has led to Latin America becoming a hotbed for fintech growth, with other companies from the region like General Atlantic-backed edtech startup Hotmart and Brazilian fintech Ebanx also seeking U.S. IPOs in the coming months here.

After the IPO, co-founders Velez, Cristina Helena Zingaretti Junqueira and Adam Edward Wible will hold 87% of the voting power and 25% of the outstanding shares of the company, assuming underwriters do not exercise their so-called “greenshoe option”. The greenshoe option allows companies to sell additional shares to underwriters during an IPO.

Nubank will list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NU”, and its Brazilian Depositary Receipts on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange under the symbol “NUBR33”.

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and NuInvest are the lead underwriters for the offering.

Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Manya Saini and Medha Singh; Writing by Anirban Sen; Editing by Maju Samuel and Shailesh Kuber

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