(Reuters) -Ride-hailing company Didi Global on Thursday denied a media report that the company was considering going private to placate Chinese authorities and compensate investor losses since it listed in the United States.
The Chinese company has been mulling delisting plans as a crackdown in China widens and it has received support from cybersecurity regulators, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Didi, which listed in New York last month after raising $4.4 billion in an initial public offering (IPO), said on Weibo that a “rumour” that it could go private was not true, and it was “actively and fully” cooperating with a cyber security probe.
Shares in Didi, which jumped as much as 40% to $12.42 in premarket trading after the WSJ report, pared gains after the company denial and were trading up 14.5%. The stock has lost about 37% since its listing on the NYSE on June 30.
Days after Didi’s market debut, 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 would remove the mobile apps operated by Didi from app stores.
Didi has been in talks with bankers, regulators and key investors to try to resolve the problems following its listing on the New York Stock Exchange, the WSJ report said. (https://on.wsj.com/3ybFu4h)
The WSJ reported that Didi had asked its major underwriters to assess investors‘ views regarding a privatisation plan, as well as the pricing range that they would accept.
A take-private deal that would involve a tender offer for its publicly traded shares is one of the preliminary options being considered, the WSJ report said.
Didi’s listing was 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, Yilei Sun in Beijing; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Jane Merriman)