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China's DMall hires three banks for over $500m US IPO - sources

HONG KONG, March 18 (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce platform Dmall (Beijing) E-commerce Co has hired Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan for a U.S. initial public offering of over $500 million, three people with direct knowledge told Reuters.

The six-year-old company, incubated by retailer Wumart Group, has begun preparations for the IPO and the listing could happen in the second half of this year, said one of them.

Dmall opted for an IPO over a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) to go public, said two of the people and two separate sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

Dmall did not immediately respond to a query for comment. Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan declined to comment. All sources declined to be identified as the information is confidential.

Wumart’s founder Zhang Wenzhong founded Dmall in 2015 to develop the retailer’s online distribution channels. By end-October, Dmall had 120 chain store partners covering over 13,000 stores nationwide with 18 million monthly active users on its app, according to it website.

Dmall raised 2.8 billion yuan in its lastest funding round in October, which was led by the investment arm of The Industrial Bank Co and China Structural Reform Fund.

One of the people said the funding round valued Dmall at $5 billion.

The company also counts Tencent Holdings, IDG Capital and Lenovo Capital as investors, its website shows. (Reporting by Kane Wu, Scott Murdoch and Julie Zhu in Hong Kong; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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