Alibaba has priced its shares, and it's going to be the biggest IPO ever

 
Joe Hall
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Slam Dunk: Alibaba could become the biggest IPO in history (Source: Getty)

Alibaba has priced its initial public offering at $68 per share - the top end of its price range.

The pricing will raise the e-commerce giant $21.77bn and value the company at $167.62bn, making it one of the largest IPOs in history. Shares in the Chinese company will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange Friday morning under the ticker BABA.

The record for largest IPO in history currently belongs to the Agricultural Bank of China, which raised $22.1bn when it listed on the Shanghai market in 2010. However, if Alibaba exercises an over allotment option, it would raise around $25bn and steal the record.

Earlier this week Alibaba increased its price tag from between $60 and $66 per share to between $66 and $68 per share, and according to reports it has now opted for the high end of that range.

Alibaba, which has been described as "a mix between Amazon and eBay", owns a multitude of Chinese websites including Alibaba.com; a business-to-business trading platform, Taobao; a consumer-to-consumer shopping site and Tmall; a retail site.

The Hangzhou-based firm says its websites currently have 279 million buyers making 14.5 billion orders per year. It has made particular breakthroughs in the smartphone marketplace, with its websites accounting for 86.1 per cent of total mobile retail in China.
Alibaba reported a 46 per cent rise in revenues to 15.77bn yuan and profits of 12.34bn yuan in its most recent quarterly earnings report.

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