New York - Weibo, the Chinese microblogging service owned by Sina and Alibaba Group, raised $285.6 million in its US initial public offering after pricing the shares at the low end of a marketed range, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Weibo sold 16.8 million Class A American depositary shares for $17 each, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing a private matter.
The shares had been offered for $17 to $19 apiece.
The Beijing-based company’s shares will be listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol WB.
From the time Weibo first publicly filed for its IPO on March 14, the Nasdaq 100 Index dropped 3 percent through yesterday amid a slump in technology stocks, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Weibo joins seven other Chinese Internet companies seeking capital in the US, which have filed to raise a total of $2.8 billion in New York this year -- the most since the fourth quarter of 2007.
“Investors have a lot of concerns about Weibo especially now that it is facing a competitive landscape,” said You Na, a senior research analyst at ICBC International Research in Hong Kong.
“The market is also in a relative weak state.”
The tally of US offerings by Chinese companies this year doesn’t include China-based Alibaba, which is preparing to go public and which analysts estimate could be the biggest IPO in the US in at least two years.
The two IPOs from China-based companies this year, from Tarena International and IKang Healthcare Group, have dropped below their offering prices, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
A spokesman for Weibo didn’t immediately answer a call seeking comment on the pricing.
Leju Holdings, a Chinese operator of real estate websites, raised $100 million on the New York Stock Exchange selling shares at the low end of a marketed range, people familiar with the matter said today.
Leju sold 10 million American depositary shares at $10 each, the people said.
Alibaba agreed a year ago to buy a 19 percent stake in Weibo for $586 million, and plans to exercise an option to raise that stake to 32 percent, according to a filing.
Weibo plans to use about $250 million of the proceeds from the IPO to repay loans owed to Sina.
Weibo operates a Twitter-like service that derived 79 percent of its $188.3 million in revenue from advertising and marketing last year, the filing shows.
That amounted to about $1.46 in sales for each of its 129.1 million active monthly users.
Weibo is unprofitable, posting losses for the past three years, the filing shows.
Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse managed the offering. - Bloomberg News