China's Energy Monster IPO prices below range, raising less than expected - term sheet

HONG KONG, April 1 (Reuters) - Energy Monster, backed by Alibaba Group Holdings, has priced its American Depository Shares (ADS) below the flagged range, a term sheet seen by Reuters shows, meaning China’s largest mobile charging device owner will raise less than expected in its U.S. initial public offering.

The company, which filed its prospectus under the listing vehicle’s name of Smart Share Global, sold 17.65 million shares at $8.50 each to raise about $150 million.

Energy Monster did not respond to a request for comment.

The firm’s shares will start trading on the Nasdaq later on Thursday.

The weaker pricing comes just days after China’s Zhihu shares dropped by up to 10.5% slid in their first session on Friday. The stock is off nearly 15% since its debut on the New York Stock Exchange.

Reuters revealed Monday Energy Monster was embroiled in an ownership dispute just as the US IPO was underway.

Energy Monster had flagged its shares would be sold between $10.50 and $12.50 each as part of the deal to list on the Nasdaq.

However, volatile equities markets prompted the company to downgrade the price investors would pay for the shares.

There are also ongoing concerns over the future of Chinese companies listed in the US following the Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision to press ahead with laws that would see international companies which do not meet US auditing standards delisted.

Energy Monster planned to sell 17.5m shares which would have raised $183.75 million to $218.7 million at the indicative range.

Two Shanghai-based venture capitalists are pressing a case through both U.S. and Chinese courts against Energy Monster Chief Executive Guangyuan Cai, claiming he reneged on a deal to give them a joint 3% stake in the business.

In its March 12 IPO application, Energy Monster said Cai was advised by his China litigation counsel that the plaintiffs’ claims “are baseless and frivolous”, and the CEO is “contesting the claims vigorously”. (Reporting by Scott Murdoch; Editing by Susan Fenton)