Starbucks' China challenger Luckin Coffee files for U.S. listing
(Adds coffee consumption estimates in the region and
information about investors.)
April 22 (Reuters) - Luckin Coffee Inc, the Chinese
challenger to Starbucks Corp, on Monday filed for an
initial public offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission, after being valued at nearly $3 billion in its
latest round of funding.
The Beijing-based coffee chain set a placeholder amount of
$100 million to indicate the size of the IPO and did not
disclose the number of shares it would offer, a filing https://bit.ly/2UtnC0g
with the regulator showed.
Luckin Coffee, expanding at breakneck speed, currently
operates 2,370 stores in 28 Chinese cities and plans to open
2,500 new stores this year - displacing Starbucks as China's
largest coffee chain in the process.
The brand is banking on an increase in coffee consumption in
country which, according to a report cited by the Luckin in the
prospectus, has grown from 4.4 billion cups annually in 2013 to
8.7 billion last year, with an expectation it will continue to
rise to 15.5 billion cups a year by 2023.
In its latest round of funding, Luckin raised $150 million
from investors including BlackRock Inc, valuing https://reut.rs/2KYMdKS
the company at $2.9 billion.
However, the company is still loss making.
Since inception on June 16, 2017, the company has been in
the red, with net loss to shareholders coming at $475.4 million
in the year ended Dec. 31, 2018, and total revenue of $125.27
million, according to the filing. For the first three months of
this year, it posted a net loss of $85.3 million.
Luckin said it would continue to spend on increasing its
brand awareness, expand its customer base and store network and
invest heavily in offering discounts and deals to keep bringing
in more customers through its doors.
It, however, cautioned that revenues may not grow at the
rate it expects that would offset higher expenses in the near
future due to changes in regulation and increasing competition.
Luckin said it could continue to incur losses in the
foreseeable future and "we cannot assure you that we will
eventually achieve our intended profitability."
The coffee chain was co-founded by Chief Executive Qian
Zhiya, the former chief operating officer of Car Inc, and two
other senior executives, and it is backed by Singapore's
sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd.
Other investors in the company include venture capital firm
Joy Capital and private equity firm Centurium Capital, according
to the filing.
The company, which intends to list under the symbol "LK" on
the Nasdaq, chose New York for the listing as Hong Kong
generally requires IPO applicants to have a track record of
three financial years, sources told Reuters earlier.
The size of the IPO stated in preliminary filings is used to
calculate registration fees. The final IPO size could be
Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley are some of the
underwriters to the IPO.
(Reporting by Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru; editing by Shinjini
Ganguli and Cynthia Osterman)
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