Alibaba-supported logistic firm files for US public offering

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 June, 2017, 12:25am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 June, 2017, 12:30am

Chinese delivery firm Best Inc, backed by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, has filed for an initial public offering in the US.

Best, formerly known as Best Logistics Technologies Ltd, filed to sell American depository shares with an initial offering size of US$750 million, according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Monday. That amount could change. The company and select shareholders plan to sell stock in the IPO, the filing says, though no shareholders are currently listed as offering shares.

Best’s biggest business line by revenue is its express-delivery unit, followed by its freight-delivery division and supply-chain management services.

Alibaba, whose 23 per cent stake makes it the biggest existing shareholder, accounted for about 70 per cent of Best’s express deliveries in the three months through March. Alibaba is the publisher of the South China Morning Post.

Last October, rival Chinese logistic company ZTO Express Inc raised US$1.4 billion in a US IPO. The company, which gets most of its business from Alibaba, has seen its stock fall more than 25 per cent since its offering, beginning with a 15 per cent plunge on its first day of trading.

Best posted a net loss of US$198.1 million on revenue of US$1.28 billion last year. The company warned that it expects costs to continue to increase, extending its trend of net losses. Best plans to use the proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes.

Citigroup, Credit Suisse Group AG, Goldman Sachs Group, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Deutsche Bank AG are leading the offering. The company hasn’t yet applied to list on an exchange.