Tencent-backed Sogou plans to raise US$585 million in an IPO in the US

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 October, 2017, 7:48am
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 October, 2017, 8:04pm

Sogou, the Chinese search engine backed by Tencent Holdings, aims to raise as much as US$585 million in a US initial public offering (IPO).

The company, born from the Chinese media company, is marketing 45 million American depositary shares for US$11 to US$13 apiece, according to a filing on Friday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Sogou said it intends to use the proceeds for research and development and sales and marketing.

Sogou is the default search engine in Shenhen-based internet giant Tencent’s Mobile QQ browser and, according to the filing. Sogou said it was exploring additional ways to collaborate with Tencent.

Tencent is also Sogu’s largest shareholder. The Hong Kong-listed company has a 44 per cent stake before the offering, while Sohu holds 38 per cent.

Sogou’s filing follows a rush of cross-border listings that may make October the biggest month of the year for US IPOs, with trans-Pacific share sales at a level not seen since Alibaba Group Holding’s record US$25 billion IPO in September 2014.

Tencent’s China Literature, mainland’s biggest online publisher, launches IPO worth up to US$1.1 billion

Chinese online lender Qudian and China’s Rise Education Cayman, along with Singapore-based Sea, the owner of the Garena gaming platform, went public in the past two weeks, selling a combined total of US$2.1 billion in new shares.

Beijing-based Sogou had net income of US$56 million on total revenue of US$660 million last year, according to its filing. The company posted net income of almost US$100 million on revenue of US$592 million in 2015.

JP Morgan Chase & Co, Credit Suisse Group, Goldman Sachs and China International Capital Corp are leading the offering. Sogou intends to apply to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SOGO.