Coupang Raises US$4.5 bln via U.S. Market Debut, IPO Price Set at $35 | Be Korea-savvy

Coupang Raises US$4.5 bln via U.S. Market Debut, IPO Price Set at $35

Coupang Inc.'s headquarters in Jamsil, eastern Seoul. (image: Coupang)

Coupang Inc.’s headquarters in Jamsil, eastern Seoul. (image: Coupang)

SEOUL, March 11 (Korea Bizwire)South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Inc. on Thursday said its initial public offering price was set at US$35 per share for its landmark debut on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), paving the way for the company to raise $4.5 billion with its value at around $63 billion.

The IPO price was higher than a proposed range of $32 to $34 per share.

The company said its stocks will begin trading Thursday (New York time). The IPO process will be legally completed by March 15 (New York time), the company said.

According to Coupang’s registration filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company is seeking to build new logistics centers, increase hiring and expand new business sectors with the proceeds from the share sale.

Coupang already has 70 percent of South Korea’s population within an 11-kilometer radius of its distribution centers, but the construction of extra facilities in rural areas is needed to strengthen its signature ultra-fast delivery service, according to the filing.

“Considering Coupang’s growth potential and expandability, ($35) is below the company’s value, despite its current deficits and the market competitiveness,” said NH Investment & Securities researcher Lee Ji-young.

The popularity of customer-to-customer services in the local e-commerce industry would provide lucrative opportunities for the e-commerce behemoth in shipping, advertising and consulting, she said.

Brokerage experts also expected the U.S. IPO would help Coupang secure funds to broaden its grip on fashion, beauty and home appliances, sectors that have had relatively low competition in the fast-growing e-commerce environment.

Launching its own fin-tech business, including online payment services, is also a highly plausible next move for Coupang, they said. Naver and Kakao — arguably Coupang’s potential local rivals in e-commerce — already offer their own payment services — Naver Pay and Kakao Pay.

Last year, Coupang registered revenues of about $11.97 billion, nearly double from $6.27 billion a year ago, according to the documents submitted by Coupang. Net losses stood at about $474.9 million in 2020, down from the previous year’s $699 million.

Coupang was founded by its Chief Executive Kim Bom-suk in 2010, emulating U.S. e-commerce behemoth

After the IPO, Kim will hold 10.2 percent of the company shares, next to SoftBank Vision Fund’s 33.1 percent, Greenoaks Capital’s 16.6 percent and Greenoaks Capital founder Neil Mehta’s 16.6 percent, according to the SEC filing.


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