Snap IPO to raise US$2bn
Snapchat’s corporate parent is seeking to raise more than US$2 billion for the fast-growing social media group in the technology sector’s largest public offering in nearly three years, documents filed on Thursday showed. Outlining the financial details of its initial public offering (IPO), Snap Inc said it expects net proceeds of about US$2 billion. It is to offer 145 million new shares and sell 55 million from existing share owners, with an expected price range of US$14 to US$16, the documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed. The listing would value Snap Inc at between US$19.5 billion and US$22.2 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the deal. About 158 million people use Snapchat daily, with more than 2.5 billion Snaps created every day, according to the filing. Snapchat has partnerships with dozens of publishers and organizations, including one announced on Thursday by the New York Times. While some analysts say Snap has the potential to challenge Facebook, others say it could end up like Twitter, consistently losing money with its existence as an independent firm in peril.
Ford to build Mexico plants
Ford Motor Co is sticking with its plan to build two new factories in Mexico, despite an announcement last month that it had scrapped plans for a plant in the central state of San Luis Potosi. The US firm said a planned factory in the central state of Guanajuato would build engines and transmissions, while another in the northern city of Chihuahua would make parts for use by Ford factories in the US, South America and Asia. The two facilities are to cost about US$2.5 billion and employ about 3,800 people, Ford Mexico president and chief executive Gabriel Lopez said. Ford without warning last month canceled plans to build a US$1.6 billion project in San Luis Potosi.
Axe falls on Hanjin Shipping
The axe finally fell on South Korea’s once-mighty Hanjin Shipping Co yesterday as a Seoul court declared it bankrupt after struggling for years under the weight of billions of US dollars of debt. Hanjin filed for bankruptcy protection in August last year owing US$5.37 billion as creditors refused to bail it out, with dozens of its vessels stranded outside around the world as they were refused entry to ports. “We will try to ensure that the bankruptcy process would enable the firm to pay off debts to all debt-holders in a fair and proper fashion,” the court said in a statement. Trading in the firm’s shares was suspended yesterday.
Portugal Airbnb use doubles
Use of Airbnb nearly doubled in Portugal last year, the home rentals Web site said on Thursday, as record tourist numbers flocked to the nation — some driven away from other sun spots by security fears. A record 1.65 million guests stayed in properties listed by Airbnb Inc in Portugal last year, up from 912,000 in 2015, the company said, with the capital Lisbon accounting for the bulk of the bookings. Founded in 2008 in San Francisco, Airbnb has become a popular alternative to hotels worldwide, allowing homeowners to rent out their properties by marketing them online for a fee. Under an agreement reached with the Lisbon City Government, Airbnb in May last year began charging guests in the Portuguese capital a “tourist tax” of one euro per night. The tax has so far generated 1.74 million euros (US$1.84 million) which city authorities are to use to develop local tourism projects, the statement said.