Didi Global considers going private to placate Chinese authorities

Didi Global private
FILE PHOTO: The logo for Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Global Inc is pictured during the IPO on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) floor in New York City, U.S., June 30, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) -China’s Didi Global is considering going private to placate Chinese authorities and compensate investor losses since the ride-hailing firm listed in the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The company has been mulling delisting plans as crackdown in China widens and it has received support from cybersecurity regulators, according to the report, which cited people familiar with the matter.

The about-turn by Didi Global comes just about a month after it listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Days after its $4.4 billion US listing, China’s cyberspace regulator launched a probe into the company and asked it to stop registering new users, citing national security and the public interest.

The regulator also said it will remove the mobile apps operated by Didi from app stores.

Didi has been in talks with bankers, regulators and key investors to figure how to resolve the problems following its listing on the New York Stock Exchange, the report said. (https://on.wsj.com/3ybFu4h)

The company has asked its major underwriters to assess investors’ views regarding a privatization plan, as well as the pricing range that they would accept, the report said.

US-listed shares of Didi, which surged 40% to $12.42 in premarket trading, have lost about 37% since listing on the NYSE on June 30.

The company did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

A take-private deal that would involve a tender offer for its publicly traded shares is one of the preliminary options being considered, the report said.

Didi’s listing is the biggest stock sale by a Chinese company since the 2014 listing of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

(Reporting by Chavi Mehta and Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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