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Alibaba posts largest IPO for us listed company



Alibaba, the massive Chinese e-commerce company, priced its shares at $68 on Thursday for the impending IPO offering, making it the largest ever for a US-listed company.
It is said that Alibaba and its shareholders who are selling will raise a total of $21.8bn, which may increase to $25bn if the option to purchase more shares at the IPO price is exercised by underwriters.

The company has been valued at around $167.6bn, based on a share price of $68, making it one of the most valuable technology companies globally.  This places them ahead of Amazon.com, which reported a market capitalization of $150,2bn at close of business on Thursday, and behind Facebook, with a valuation of $200,2bn.

On Friday, Alibaba will enter its next phase as a public company, after months of preparation.  The last weeks have seen investor roadshows, with regular revisions to its IPO, including a change in its relationship with Alipay, the payment service.

Alibaba is set to hit the top end of the range, by pricing their shares at $68.  This is a highly-anticipated public stock debut, similar to Visa when they raised $17.9bn during 2008.  The record for the biggest global IPO ever is held by the Agricultural Bank of China, when it debuted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange during 2010.

Alibaba, although it started small, has become the largest global e-commerce company.  It experiences total gross merchandise volume that is larger than eBay and Amazon combined.  Its gross merchandise volume for the year ending June 30 was $296bn for 14.5 billion orders from 279m active purchasers.

The company has gained benefit from the massive and quick economic growth within China over the past 10 years.  

The chairman and vice chairman of the company, Ma and Joseph Tsai respectively, are the only executives who will be selling huge amounts of stock in the IPO.  Ma intends selling 12.8m shares and Tsai 4.25m.  The largest stockholder, Softbank, will not be selling, but Yahoo, its second-largest shareholder, definitely will.

The company will commence trading on Friday morning on the New York Stock Exchange as "BABA".

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