Fast fashion giant Shein has reportedly lodged confidential paperwork with US securities regulators, informing them of an intention to go public in the US.
The listing would likely be the largest initial public offering (IPO) in years.
Shein is one of the global leaders of fast fashion e-commerce, harnessing a network of small-shipment manufacturers in China, and a massive online advertising presence.
JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have reportedly been hired as underwriters for the move, according to unnamed sources cited by the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times and Reuters.
The news of the filing follows reports and rumours from at least the middle of last year that the company intended to go public in the US in 2024.
Shein, a mass market online clothing retailer, was founded in China by entrepreneur Chris Xu, but is now headquartered in Singapore. Within a decade it reached a valuation of $100bn at an April 2022 fundraising round, making it the third most valuable start-up in the world.
By May this year the company’s value had dropped to a little more than $60bn but if it goes ahead with the IPO it is still expected to become the most valuable China-founded company to go public in the US since ride-hailing giant Didi Global’s debut in 2021 at $68bn valuation.
The company has reportedly told investors it hopes to receive a valuation of $80-90bn, Bloomberg reported last month.
In recent years Shein has expanded manufacturing into Brazil and Turkey, and distribution processes into the US, Europe and Canada. However, the company has come under criticism for things such as allegedly poor working conditions in factories, alleged copyright infringement on independent artists’ designs, along with criticism of fast fashion’s impact on the environment. Shein has denied the accusations.
Shein declined to comment on the reports.
Reuters contributed to this report