Sogou to launch on NYSE at $13 a share

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Shares in Chinese search engine provider Sogou Inc. traded flatly on their debut on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday after the company managed to raise $540 million in their initial public offering.

The company is seeking a listing on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SOGO.

After pricing at the top of the range at $13 per share, the company raised $585 million.

To view the full article, register now. The figure could rise to as high as $650 million if the underwriter exercises an overallotment option. Tencent now holds a 43.7% stake in the company, while Chinese media company Sohu owns 37.8%.

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Sogou was founded as a division of Sohu, a Chinese internet company that has advertising, gaming and other businesses.

China-based Sogou Inc's (N:) shares rose more than 10 percent in their US market debut, as investors expect a massive base of Chinese smartphone users to help the Tencent-backed search engine company narrow the gap with market leader Baidu.

Sogou expects the size of the domestic online search industry will balloon to $30.7 billion in 2021 from $11.5 billion in 2016, driven by the hundreds of millions of Chinese who browse the internet on their mobile phones. Most surveys cite Baidu as the market leader with more than 50% share, while Sogou usually finishes third with about 15%, behind No. 2 player Qihoo 360.

Sogou, the default search service on Tencent's Mobile QQ browser and qq.com, has about 483 million mobile monthly active users, according to its IPO paperwork with USA securities regulators.

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Last year it had $56 million in profit, down from $99.5 million in profit the year before.

The flotation was jointly managed by USA banks JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, along with Credit Suisse and China's CICC.

Sogou Search is the second-largest search engine in China by mobile queries, and Sogou is the fourth-largest internet company in China, based on monthly active users in September, according to iResearch.

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