Business / Corporate

SoftBank-backed OneConnect sees valuation tumble in U.S. IPO

Reuters

Ping An Insurance Co.’s OneConnect Financial Technology said Thursday it raised around $312 million in its U.S. initial public offering, valuing the company at around $3.7 billion.

OneConnect sold 31.2 million American depositary shares (ADS) at $10 each. Earlier this month, it had aimed to sell 36 million ADS at a price range of $12 to $14 per share, but Wednesday it lowered the range to $9 to $10 and set a goal of selling 26 million ADS.

The $3.7 billion valuation is well below its $7.5 billion mark last year when the company raised $750 million in its maiden funding round from investors including SoftBank Corp. and financial firm SBI Group.

The float comes as tech investor SoftBank smarts from the abandoned share sale of major portfolio firm WeWork, as well as its first quarterly loss in 14 years, dragged down by an $8.9 billion hit at its giant Vision Fund, through which it invested in OneConnect.

OneConnect had revenues of 1.55 billion yuan ($220.2 million) in the first nine months of 2019, up 72 percent from the year-ago period, but losses widened to 1 billion yuan from 579 million yuan.

In 2019, U.S. investors have been reluctant to back companies going public with large losses, and shares of money-losing companies like Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. have struggled since their IPOs.

OneConnect, which provides technology solutions to small and medium-sized financial institutions, was eyeing a valuation of about $8 billion and an IPO of up to $1 billion, sources said in June.

It changed the listing venue from Hong Kong to New York a few months ago in the hope of achieving a higher valuation, with massive anti-government protests in Hong Kong making markets jittery.

OneConnect is due to begin trading Friday on the New York Exchange under the symbol “OCFT.”

Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley are among the main banks working on the IPO.