>> Chinese ride share giant Didi is set to spin off its car services unit in a deal that could be worth $1.5 billion. A number of Reuters sources said the deal would happen ahead of Didi's expected IPO later this year. Right now, the company's worth $56 billion. A listing by a company worth that much would be one of the biggest in recent years.
The company bought out Uber's local operation in 2016 and cemented its status as China's top ride sharing service. Didi has never confirmed its IPO plans but spinning off a side unit that only just launched in April may signal they're getting ready for one. It's among a number of other Chinese tech firms looking to raise cash.
Many have been eyeing Hong Kong Stock Exchange to do it. Recent reforms in the Asian financial hub have encouraged tech companies to go public, but a recent showing wasn't entirely rosy. In June, Chinese device maker Xiaomi launched a public offering in Hong Kong. Listing at almost half the value, insiders had tipped at the start of the year.
It may be a matter of timing. Analysts say Asian investors are worried about the escalating trade conflict between China and the US. While a Didi IPO's just a theory right now, sources say the company's already tapped buyers for the sell off. Including long time investor, SoftBank Group of Japan.
SoftBank's Vision Fund is the world's largest private equity fund at $93 billion last year.