China’s Baidu to raise $3.1 billion from Hong Kong listing: sources

A logo of Baidu is seen during the World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese internet search giant Baidu Inc is set to raise $3.08 billion by pricing its shares at HK$252 ($32.45) each in its Hong Kong secondary listing, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

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New York-listed Baidu is selling 95 million shares as part of the transaction.

The people could not be named as the information has not yet been made public.

Baidu declined to comment on the pricing of the deal.

Baidu had previously flagged in its listing documents that the shares would be priced at no more than HK$295 ($38.02) each for retail investors and represent 3.4% of its total shares.

The price of HK$252 is a 2.7% discount to Baidu’s closing price of $266.78 in New York on Tuesday when its American Depository Shares rose 0.47%. Baidu’s New York shares are 23.37% higher so far this year.

One Baidu ADS is equivalent to eight of its Hong Kong shares, the listing documents showed.

The shares will start trading on the Hong Kong market on March 23.

Baidu is the latest Chinese company listed in the United States to carry out a so-called homecoming listing since Alibaba Group began the trend in November 2019.

There were 12 secondary listings in Hong Kong in 2020 that raised $19.06 billion.

Dealmakers say the pipeline of future secondary listings remains strong in 2021, as U.S.-listed Chinese companies await guidance on whether President Joe Biden would maintain plans outlined by his predecessor Donald Trump to delist them from U.S. stock exchanges if they don’t meet certain conditions.

($1 = 7.7659 Hong Kong dollars)

(Reporting by Scott Murdoch in Hong Kong; Editing by Tom Hogue and Muralikumar Anantharaman)