The D-day has finally arrived for Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding that is going to make its first initial public offering (IPO) in the US market after getting listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Friday.
Executive Chairman Jack Ma is expected to ring the bull’s opening bell when trading at NYSE will begin at 9:30 am on Friday (for Asian investors it will be Friday at 9:30 pm). Alibaba will trade under the symbol BABA.
Alibaba has planned big as it is seeking to raise as much as USD 25 billion. Analysts say if shares price comes in their expected range of USD 66-USD 68, it will pen down history by becoming the world’s biggest IPO ever. It will break the record of the reigning champion Agricultural Bank of China that has raised USD 22.1 billion when it got listed in Hong Kong and Shanghai in the year 2010.
With its giant step, Alibaba seems not to leave any stone unturned. From last two-week, its executives have been on a rigorous marketing campaign, which ends Thursday, to meet investors and promote the company’s bid among them. The Alibaba officials have be promoting the company’s IPO bid across Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Hong Kong, Kansas City, Los Angeles, London, New York, San Francisco and Singapore.
Alibaba’s IPO debut has become hot debate for the market. The demand for its shares has risen so much so that the bankers had to stop taking orders in some places recently. But the long speculations over the price of the stock will end soon as the company is expected to come out will the final price any time between the conclusion of the road show and just before the trading of shares start at NYSE.
Alibaba, China’s biggest online e-commerce firm, handles more business than its rivals. It has three main websites, namely Alibaba.com, Taobao and Tmall, which have hundreds of millions of users and millions of businesses and merchants. Its major sources of money are online marketing, membership fees and the transaction fees that it receives from merchants.
Alibaba is making IPO debut in the US by offering 320 million shares, in which 123 million shares will be newly issued by the company and the remaining 197 million will be the existing shares that are owned by current shareholders.
Japan’s Softbank (34 percent) and Yahoo (22.4 percent) are among the top shareholders in Alibaba.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma owns 8.8 percent of the company’s shares and he will be offering 12.7 million shares, or 0.5 percent in the offering. Executive vice chairman Joseph Tsai will be offering 4.3 million shares which is equivalent to a 0.2 percent stake.
Deutsche Bank AG, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley are the bankers on the deal.