Chinese online video company Tudou Holdings Ltd priced shares in its initial public offering within the expected range on Tuesday, even though investor sentiment toward U.S.-listed Chinese stocks and a market rout had suggested it would be difficult.
Investor appetite for U.S.-listed Chinese stocks has proven touchy after a series of accounting scandals, and 10 of the 12 IPOs scheduled for last week were pulled as concerns about the U.S. economy and the European debt crisis created a volatile trading environment.
Still, Tudou and its owners sold 6 million American Depositary Shares for $29 each, raising $174 million. They had planned to sell ADS for $28 to $30 each.
Much like Google Inc's YouTube, Tudou allows users to watch, upload, rate, comment on and recommend videos. It makes money primarily by selling ads but also sells mobile access to its site to China Mobile and China Unicom customers.
Tudou's revenue has risen sharply in recent years, but the company's losses have also widened. In the most recent reporting period, the three months ended March 31, the company's net revenue rose 167 percent to 79.4 million yuan, or $12.1 million. Its net loss attributable to ordinary shareholders widened 795 percent to 340.7 million yuan, or $52 million, in the same period.
Tudou, whose main business operations are in China but which is registered as a Cayman Islands holding company, said in its regulatory filings it expects to have enough operating cash flow to continue as a going concern and to be able to raise funds for capital commitments and working capital by issuing redeemable convertible preferred shares or taking loans.
The company said it plans to use its share of the IPO proceeds to buy and make content, to pay for Internet bandwidth, and for working capital and general purposes.
Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Gary Wang is selling a small portion of the shares he controls in the IPO.
Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank Securities and Oppenheimer & Co were the underwriters on the IPO. The shares are expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq on Wednesday under the symbol "TUDO".
Shares of rival Youku.com, which went public in December, have risen nearly 87 percent since their IPO.