Chinese Real Estate Broker Beike Zhaofang Eyes $3 Billion U.S. IPO

Online property brokerage Beike Zhangfang will reportedly debut in New York as the largest listing of a Chinese company in two years.

Author: Belinda Zhou   

Chinese online property brokerage Beike Zhaofang reportedly summited its confidential filing for an initial public offering in the coming months.

The Beijing-based company, backed by SoftBank Group Corp., is planning to raise up to $3 billion in New York as reported by Dow Jones on Thursday. 

After the confidential listing application with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, another source said investors could expect a public filing as soon as this month and a debut in the third quarter.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., China Renaissance Holdings Ltd., and Morgan Stanley reportedly secured the deal.

SoftBank invested $1 billion in November last year, together with another $1 billion from Hillhouse Capital Group, resulting in a valuation of over $140 billion. 

Tencent Holdings Ltd. (HKEX: 00700) also participated in Beike's Series D funding with $800 million. So far, Beike has raised $2.4 billion in financing.

Beike, initially an open industry platform of a Chinese real-estate brokerage leader Lianjia, seeks a valuation of more than $20 billion for its IPO.

The founder of Beike and Lianjia, Zuo Hui, turned to the online business of Beike and started to cut the offline business of Lianjia.

Haiming Zhang, the chief operating officer in the southern Great China of Beike, said in November 2018 that the main business of the listing is Beike, not Lianjia.

Since its establishment in April 2018, Beike has begun to expand on a large scale across the country. In half a year, the shell has covered more than 90 cities and connected more than 14,000 stores. By the end of 2018, Beike has covered 95 cities, connecting 121 new brokerage brands, 19,600 stores and 168,000 agents.

SoftBank has backed a few other Chinese companies listed in New York, including OneConnect Financial Technology Co. Ltd. (NYSE: OCFT), and unicorn robot developer CloudMinds Inc.

Other Chinese online property brokerages are competitors like property technology company Fangdd Network Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: DUO) and  Beijing-based online real state portal Fang Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: SFUN).

Shares in DUO closed at $10.05 per share, while SFUN fell 2% to $12.74 on Friday.



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