Business

China's Luckin seeks to raise up to $799m in IPO

Luckin Coffee, the Chinese challenger to Starbucks, is looking to raise up to US$586.5 million (S$799 million), its filing with the US Securities and Exchange on Monday showed.

The company said it expects to offer 34.5 million American depository shares (ADS) priced between US$15 and US$17 an ADS in an initial public offering. Each ADS represents eight Class A shares, it said.

Luckin Coffee, which has been expanding at breakneck speed, currently operates 2,370 stores in 28 Chinese cities and plans to open 2,500 more this year as it tries to displace Starbucks as China's largest coffee chain.

The brand is banking on an increase in coffee consumption in China which has almost doubled to 8.7 billion cups last year from 4.4 billion in 2013 and is expected to further rise to 15.5 billion cups by 2023, according to a report cited by Luckin in its prospectus.

Luckin has also expanded outside coffee, allowing customers to buy food and other beverages via its app.

However, the company, founded in June 2017, is still loss making and has warned it may continue to incur losses in the foreseeable future.

Its recorded a net loss to shareholders of US$475.4 million and total revenue of US$125.27 million, according to the filing. For the first three months of 2019, it posted a net loss of US$85.3 million.

The coffee chain was founded by chief executive Qian Zhiya, the former chief operating officer of car rental firm Car Inc, and two other senior executives and is backed by Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC .

Other investors in the company include US money manager BlackRock and Chinese investment firms Centurium Capital and Joy Capital. - REUTERS

BUSINESS & FINANCE