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Quicken Loans parent sells shares in IPO below target to raise $1.8 billion

(Reuters) - Rocket Companies Inc RKT.N, the parent of U.S. mortgage lender Quicken Loans, said its initial public offering (IPO) was priced at $18 per share on Wednesday, below a target range, and that it sold fewer shares than planned.

Rocket sold 100 million shares to raise $1.8 billion in the IPO, which valued the company at around $36 billion. The company had aimed to sell 150 million shares at a target price range of $20-$22 per share.

The IPO pricing and deal size suggests Rocket struggled to convince investors its mortgage platform business justified a valuation conferred to a technology company rather than a financial services firm.

At $18, it is now the third-largest U.S. IPO of 2020, excluding blank-check companies. Within its original $20-$22 range, Rocket would have been the largest IPO of a U.S. company of the year so far.

The Detroit-based company, founded by billionaire Dan Gilbert in 1985, said earlier this month it expects a profit of more than $3 billion in the second quarter, compared with a loss in the same period of last year.

Higher borrowings by U.S. consumers in a historically low-interest environment has led to a surge in the company’s income.

Rocket shares are due to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday under the symbol “RKT”.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan are among underwriters for the IPO.

Reporting by Joshua Franklin in Boston and additional reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler, Muralikumar Anantharaman and Himani Sarkar

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