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Business deals

US hedge fund titan reveals $390m stake in China's Luckin Coffee

Steven Cohen's Point72 joins BlackRock in bet on Starbucks' Asian rival

Steven Cohen, one of the biggest names in the hedge fund world, is betting big on Starbucks' China rival Luckin Coffee.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- Wall Street billionaire Steven Cohen's hedge fund Point72 Asset Management has snapped up a 5.1% stake in China's Luckin Coffee, a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday revealed.

The transaction, which took place on Monday, gave Cohen control over 17 million American depositary shares of Luckin, worth roughly $390 million as of market close on Tuesday. Cohen is one of the most successful -- and controversial -- hedge fund managers on Wall Street, having gained fame as founder of SAC Capital Advisors. 

Luckin Coffee grew from a single trial store in Beijing less than two years ago to thousands of locations across the country today. In a market where Starbucks has over 3,600 stores, Luckin quickly won over young consumers with its quick delivery and app-based purchasing model. The startup aims to surpass the American coffee giant in number of stores this year.

Outside of its home market, Luckin also recently announced a joint venture with Americana Group, a Middle Eastern food company that runs 1,900 restaurants, to explore business in the region as well as in India. 

Point72 is not the first Wall Street giant to bet big on the coffee upstart: in April, BlackRock invested $150 million in Luckin ahead of its $561 million IPO. Luckin initially filed to raise just $100 million. It opened its first day of trading on Nasdaq nearly 50% higher than its initial public offering price.

Last year, Luckin recorded a $241 million net loss on revenue of $125 million. It is scheduled to report earnings for the first time next Wednesday.

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