Chinese online retailer LightIn The Box soars in debut

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 06, 2013 9:52 AM
Chinese online retailer LightIn The Box soars in debut

(Reuters) - Shares of LightIn The Box Holdings Co Ltd rose as much as 32 percent in their debut, valuing the company at about $600 million, as investors show renewed interest in Chinese stocks.

The company priced its initial public offering of 8.3 million American Depositary Shares at $9.50 each, raising about $78.8 million.

LightIn The Box is the first Chinese company to go public in the U.S. market after YY Inc's debut in November. The social media platform's shares are up about 175 percent since they first started trading on the Nasdaq.

A spate of Chinese companies hit U.S. exchanges in 2010 but the market for these offerings largely dried up as investors became wary of corporate governance and transparency.

Scandals at companies such as Sino-Forest Corp and Longtop Financial Technologies also spooked investors.

Beijing-based LightIn The Box, which sells everything from mobile phones to fishing rods, competes with industry behemoth Alibaba.

Alibaba is also in the process of launching a massive IPO, expected as early as the fourth quarter of this year.

LightIn The Box, headed by co-founder Alan Guo, offers a wide selection of apparels and is mainly known for its affordable wedding dresses.

Guo previously served as chief strategist and special assistant to the president of Google China from 2005 to 2008.

Credit Suisse and Stifel were the lead underwriters for the offering.

The company is yet to post a yearly profit since its inception in 2007. For the year ended 2012, it reported net loss of $7.2 million on revenue of $200.1 million.

Shares of the company were up 28 percent at $12.18 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Avik Das in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)