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Shein reportedly files low-profile IPO in US

By Rachel Douglass


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Shein pop-up. Credits: Shein

Chinese e-commerce giant Shein has reportedly filed for a confidential initial public offering (IPO) in the US, as it looks to test investor interest in the region.

It is understood that the retailer is working with Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley, each appointed as lead underwriters, according to sources. Further speculation suggests that Shein could be planning to launch its new share sale during 2024.

The news was first reported by China’s Shanghai Securities Journal and was later confirmed by sources for The Wall Street Journal.

While the valuation of the IPO had not been disclosed, a report by Bloomberg earlier in November stated that the company was aiming for a float of up to 90 billion dollars.

Reports on a potential filing have been circulating since the beginning of the year, when it was revealed that Shein had cut its valuation by a third to 64 billion dollars ahead of a two billion dollar funding round that was ultimately secured in May.

Later in June, it began circulating that the Shanghai-based company was submitting confidential documents for the IPO, with Reuters at the time predicting the filing could take place towards the end of the year.

Legal troubles amid record breaking sales

2023 has proved to be a tricky one for Shein in regards to legal troubles with international watchdogs and rival fast fashion companies.

While France and the US have both initiated investigations into its operations, addressing allegations of forced labour and human rights abuses, the likes of H&M and Temu are pursuing cases against Shein linked to infringement and antitrust claims.

Despite this, when it came to sales, this year has been a one for the books. In August, CNBC reported that executive vice chairman, Donald Tang, had told investors that the company had “recorded the highest first half net profit in the company’s history”.

Later in September, the UK subsidiary of Shein saw sales of over one billion pounds in the 16 months from September 6, 2021, to December 31, 2022, according to filings at Companies House.

The financial update was soon followed by the announcement that Shein would be acquiring fast fashion retailer Missguided from Frasers Group, while rumours also began circulating of a potential takeover of Asos’ Topshop.