JD’s logo is seen on walls of a building at a logistic park in Zhengzhou, Central China’s Henan province, on May 19, 2021. [Photo/IC]

JD Logistics, the logistics arm of Chinese mainland e-commerce giant JD, is likely to raise HK$24.1 billion ($3.1 billion) from its initial public offering in Hong Kong after pricing its shares at the lower half of an indicative range.

The company said on Thursday that it had set its IPO price at HK$40.36 and was looking to capitalize on the country’s booming online shopping for rapid growth. It is planning to offer 609.16 million new shares and had earlier said the shares would be offered in an indicative price range of HK$39.36 to HK$43.36 each.

The Beijing-based warehousing and shipping company said the public offering size could increase by up to 15 percent if a “green-shoe” option is exercised, or in case of an overallotment. The option allows companies to issue more shares when there is strong demand from the market.

The company has already roped in an impressive array of cornerstone investors like Soft-Bank Vision Fund, Temasek Holdings Pte, Blackstone Group Inc, Tiger Global and several other big names. Some of the company’s existing shareholders and their related parties are also keen to increase their holdings, JD Logistics said, adding that Hillhouse Capital and Tencent have already subscribed to its shares.

The logistics firm is the third unit from the JD stable to be listed in Hong Kong, following the secondary listing of parent JD in June and JD Health, an online healthcare firm, in December.

Proceeds from the IPO will be used to upgrade and expand the company’s logistics networks, develop advanced technologies related to supply chain solutions and logistics services, and expand customer base, the company said.

JD Logistics reported net losses of 2.8 billion yuan ($439 million) in 2018, 2.2 billion yuan in 2019 and 4 billion yuan last year.

Warehousing and technology are two major edges of JD Logistics, according to CITIC Securities. The company operated more than 900 warehouses by the end of last year, covering an aggregate gross floor area of 21 million square meters.

“Online shopping has become an inevitable trend and logistics is an important part in the development of e-commerce,” said Linus Yip, chief strategist of First Shanghai Securities.

“With strong backing from its parent company, which is the second-largest e-commerce platform in China, JD Logistics is expected to embrace significant growth in the future.”

The Hong Kong bourse saw 32 IPOs in the first quarter, with total capital raised amounting to HK$136.6 billion, ranking third globally in value terms. Most of the newly listed companies are from the new economy sector, including biomedicine and technology.

Bruce Pang, Hong Kong-based head of macro and strategy research at China Renaissance Securities, said such trends are expected to continue in the second quarter.

Luo Weiteng

contributed to this story.