Trip.com Group (Nasdaq: TCOM) has kicked off its Hong Kong listing which could raise up to HK$10.53 billion ($1.35 billion).
China’s top travel booking platform is offering 31.64 million ordinary shares at a price that will not exceed HK$333 each, according to a statement today posted by the company. That price is equivalent to $42.95 per American depositary share, representing a premium of 7% from Tuesday’s close.
Also, Trip.com plans on allowing the international underwriters on the deal to express their over-allotment option to buy an additional 4.75 million shares. J.P. Morgan Securities (Far East) Ltd., China Hong Kong Securities Ltd., International Capital Corp., and Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C. are the joint sponsors on the deal.
The Shanghai-based company plans on using the proceeds from the share sale to boost one-stop travel offerings while enhancing user experience and improving products, services, and operating efficiency. It will also use some of the funds for working capital and general corporate purposes.
The offering follows a big trend of Chinese U.S.-listed firms flocking to Hong Kong amid rising trade tensions between Beijing and Washington in the last twelve months.
Some Chinese U.S.-listed companies that have completed their shares sales in Hong Kong in the past year include Baidu (NYSE: BIDU), JD.com (Nasdaq: JD; HKEX: 09618), NetEase (Nasdaq: NTES; HKEX: 9999), and Yum China (NYSE: YUMC; HKEX: 09987).
Along with trade tensions, Trip.com has been impacted by the lack of demand in the travel industry since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. For the full year 2020, Trip.com’s revenues plunged 49% to $2.8 billion on losses of $497 million.
However, China’s tourism space has been recovering, as the country continues to rapidly boost its Covid-19 vaccinations. In fact, Trip.com announced separately today that bookings during the Qingming Festival holiday, which took place over the weekend, flew 300% year-over-year.
In early trading today, Trip.com’s New York stock was trading 4% lower at $38.64 per share. So far this year, shares of Trip.com have risen 14%.
The company will set the price for its Hong Kong offering on or around Apr. 13 after which it will bgin trading under the stock code "9961.”