Renren owner plans IPO

Elizabeth Fournier
ONE of China’s largest social networking companies, Oak Pacific Interactive, is planning to raise around $500m (£308m) this year in a initial public offering (IPO) in the US.

Oak Pacific, the owner of Chinese social networking site Renren, hired Credit Suisse Group and Deutsche Bank in December to underwrite an IPO, planned for the first half of this year. At that time, the amount to be raised had not been finalised.

According to people with knowledge of the plan, the company is preparing an IPO of about $500m, and has hired Morgan Stanley.

Neither Morgan Stanley nor Oak Pacific could be reached for comment.

As of July 2008, the Renren social networking site had 40m registered users. Similar to Facebook in function, Renren was also started by a group of students, and gained popularity in China’s universities.