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Coupang Raises $3.5 Billion Ahead of IPO

Coupang headquarters in Seoul
Coupang headquarters in Seoul. Coupang. (Shutterstock)

Coupang’s debut on the New York Stock Exchange today is expected to be the largest by an international company since Alibaba went public in 2014, according to a report in The Financial Times.

According to its sources, the South Korean e-commerce giant has priced shares at $35, which would total a $4.2 billion capital injection when including shares sold by insiders. That price would give Coupang a market capitalisation of $60 billion.

Coupang previously said it expected to sell shares at $27 to $30 before increasing the range to $32 to $34 on Tuesday. The IPO price hike shows investors are confident its growth during the coronavirus crisis was sustainable, and are willing to overlook concerns about workplace conditions at the company.

The platform dominates South Korea’s business-to-consumer e-commerce market. It promises one-day delivery on almost every product and a significant percentage of orders are in consumer hands within a few hours. It added 25,000 employees last year.

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Complaints about the working conditions at Coupang from current and former employees as well as unions and South Korea’s labour ministry have plagued the company. These criticisms relate to a series of injuries and deaths among workers and contractors. The company has declined to comment on these broader allegations.


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