Chinese online game developer Giant Interactive Group Inc was set to begin marketing a U.S. initial public offering on Thursday worth roughly $700-$800 million, sources familiar with the deal said, joining a record-breaking capital-raising push by Internet firms.
The mainland China-based company, which is selling a 20 percent stake, plans to begin trading its shares on the New York Stock Exchange in early November under the symbol GA. The listing was being handled by Merrill Lynch and UBS.
Giant Interactive will compete for investor attention with Alibaba.com, a business-to-business online marketplace that is looking to raise up to $1.32 billion ahead of a Hong Kong trading debut scheduled for November 6.
Alibaba.com's deal, underwritten by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank, is on track to be the largest Internet-related IPO from China, according to Thomson Financial data.
Both the Alibaba.com and Giant Interactive deals look set to dwarf the $230 million raised in 2004 by Tencent Holdings Ltd, a Chinese Internet portal and instant messaging service, whose IPO was the biggest in the Internet sector from China, according to Thomson.
Giant Interactive's fundraising target, which is not final, is far larger than the $100 million it said it intended to raise in a filing last week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Merrill Lynch and UBS declined to comment.