February 24, 2014
On the heels of Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp, China’s Sina Corp. has selected banks for an initial public offering of Weibo – a popular microblogging service in China, much in the way of Twitter – that could potentially raise about $500 million, according to a report from the Financial Times earlier today.
According to two unnamed sources familiar with the deal, Sina has hired Credit Suisse AG and the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to manage the U.S. listing. The $500 million is expected to be complete in time for a second-quarter Weibo IPO.
This is huge news, considering that Weibo is one of China’s most popular microblogging social platforms, with approximately 60 million daily active users. The platform is reckoned to be worth at least $3.3 billion (based on an 18% stake in Weibo paid last year by Alibaba, China’s dominant ecommerce platform). However, according to a report by Quartz, the platform could be worth upwards of $6 billion (as predicted by analysts from Piper Jaffray).
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