Chinese Social Network Renren Prices $743M IPO At $14 Per Share, At High End Of Range

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Chinese social network Renren has priced its its initial public offering of shares at $14 per share, with a total offering size of $743.4 million. The price per share falls into the high range that the Street expected, which was $12 to $14 per share. The shares will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange today under the symbol “RENN.”

Of the 53,100,000 ADSs being offered, 42,898,711 ADSs are offered by Renren and 10,201,289 ADSs are offered by the selling shareholders. The Company has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 7,965,000 ADSs at the initial public offering price to cover over-allotment.

As we wrote a few days ago, there has been strong interest in Renren’s IPO because it is one of the first social networks to go public in the current climate. The site is the closest thing China has to Facebook, and this could be a precursor to see how Facebook could do on the public market.

The Financial Times reported earlier this week that success of the pitch to market Renren as a “Facebook” like site for the Chinese market resulted in an increase in the share price range from the initial $9-$11 to $12-$14. That increase resulted in a boost in the deal size to $743.4 million from the original price of $584 million.

But Renren doesn’t have the scale that Facebook does. The social networking site only has around 20 to 30 million active monthly users and around 100 million registered users in total.

TechCrunch contributor Jeremy Goldkorn outlines many of Renren’s strengths and weaknesses here, which is worth a read.

Now that the network is on the public market, we’ll see how the Street responds. So far, shares are up over 47 percent to $20.65.