RELX Plans $100 Million U.S. Stock Sale

    Photo: RELX

    RLX Technology, parent to the RELX brand of vaping products, has filed with the Security Exchange Commission in the U.S. to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering (IPO).

    The $100 million request is well below the $1 billion the company said it expected to raise when it announced Citigroup as the bank of record for its planned initial public offering in the U.S., people with knowledge of the matter said.

    The Shenzhen-based company, which counts Sequoia Capital among its backers, boasts a 62.6 percent market share in China for closed-system vaping products in terms of retail sales, according to a press release.

    “The company has partnered with 110 authorized distributors to supply its products to over 5,000 RELX Branded Partner Stores, and over 100,000 other retail outlets nationwide, covering over 250 cities in China,” the release states.

    Revenue for the company nearly doubled in the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2020 to $324 million, with net income of $16 million.

    The Beijing, China-based company was founded in 2018 and booked $400 million in sales for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2020. It plans to list on the NYSE under the symbol RLX. RLX Technology filed confidentially on Oct. 26, 2020. Citi is the sole bookrunner on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed.

    Chinese companies are choosing to list in the U.S. at a rapid pace despite Congress approving legislation that could force firms to withdraw from American exchanges in a dispute over audit inspection rules. Mainland and Hong Kong firms have raised $14.8 billion through U.S. initial public offerings in 2020, the second-best year on record, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

    The IPO plan comes on the heels of fellow e-cigarette device maker Smoore International Holdings’ much sought-after Hong Kong debut share sale. Smoore raised HKD8.19 billion ($1.06 billion) in July after pricing its IPO at the top end of a marketed range.

    The share price has soared more than 300 percent.