Exits, IPO, Private Equity

Alibaba-Backed Best Logistics Seeks $1 Billion In US IPO

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Best Inc., a logistic service provider backed by Alibaba Group, has revised up the amount of capital it is seeking to raise in an initial public offering in New York to US$1 billion, from a previous target of US$750 million in June.

Best, also known as Best Logistics, disclosed the information in an updated prospectus filed with the U.S. securities regulator yesterday. It also provided updated information on its performance in the first half of 2017. It recorded RMB8.1 billion (US$1.23 billion) in revenues during the first six months, more than double from the same period last year. It suffered a loss of RMB625 million (US$95 million), slightly less than the RMB635 million (US$96 million) a year earlier.

Founded in 2007 by Johnny Chou, former co-president of Google China, Best Logistics has seven subsidiary entities, including Best Express, Best Freight, Best Supply Chain, Best Cloud, Best Capital, Best Global, and Best Store.

As of 2016, the company controlled four million square meters of warehouse and distribution space, tens of thousands of certified franchisees and 660 "multiple operations centers". Outside of China, it has offices and warehouses in the U.S., Germany, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

Alibaba Group is the largest shareholder in Best, with a 23.4% stake, while IDG-Accel China Capital and Cainiao Network, a logistics platform founded by Alibaba, are the fourth and fifth largest shareholder, with a 6.2% stake and a 5.6% stake respectively.

Last September, Best raised a US$760 million new funding round from CITIC Private Equity, Cainiao, CDH Investments, China Development Bank International Investment Ltd. and Fosun International. Eight months prior, it completed a US$700 million round, with International Finance Corp injecting as much as US$30 million.

Shortly after its founding, Best received a US$15 million investment from Alibaba and Foxconn Technology Group. Other early investors include China Renaissance Capital Investment, Walden International and IDG Capital Partners, according to the IFC disclosure statement.


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