Hong Kong — Tencent-backed Meituan-Dianping has started taking orders for a Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise as much as $4.4bn as it warned there was no guarantee it would ever become profitable. The restaurant review and delivery giant is offering 480.27-million new Class B shares at HK$60 to HK$72 apiece, according to terms for the deal obtained by Bloomberg on Tuesday. Five cornerstone investors including Tencent have agreed to buy a combined $1.5bn of stock in the offering, the terms show. Meituan’s IPO will bankroll its costly expansion into businesses from ride-hailing to finance as it pursues an ambition to become a super-app in the vein of Tencent’s own WeChat. That sets it up for a clash with Alibaba, which is spending billions to try to seize control of China’s $1.3-trillion food delivery and online services industry. In ride-hailing, Meituan is taking on Didi Chuxing, the startup that defeated Uber in China. Meituan’s IPO filings show a company growing r...

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