* Prices at $12.80 vs $9-$11 range-underwriter
* Sells 15,847,700 shares, raises over $200 mln
NEW YORK, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Youku.com Inc YOKU.N, one of the YouTube clones of China, priced shares in its initial public offering above the expected range on Tuesday, according to an underwriter.
The company sold 15,847,700 shares for $12.80 each, raising about $203 million. It had planned to sell 15.4 million American Depositary Shares for $9 to $11 each.
Youku’s IPO comes ahead of that of Chinese competitor Tudou Holdings Inc, which has filed to raise up to $120 million and list on the Nasdaq, and as Hulu is mulling an IPO. [ID:nN03118640]
The online video industry is booming and China is the world’s No. 2 Internet arena. But neither Youku nor Tudou are profitable and the costs of content and bandwidth are rising.
Youku’s revenue grew 135 percent to 234.6 million yuan ($35.3 million) in the first nine months of 2010 from the year-earlier period. But its net loss widened by 22.5 percent to 167 million yuan over the same period.
Besides Tudou, Youku competes with Ku6 Media Co Ltd KUTV.O, PPS.tv, PPTV and Qiyi.com, a firm partly owned by Baidu Inc (BIDU.O).
Underwriters on the IPO were led by Goldman Sachs. The shares are expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday under the symbol “YOKU.” (Reporting by Clare Baldwin; Editing by Richard Chang)