Chinese behemoth Alibaba unveils blockbuster float plan

 
Michael Bow
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CHINESE web giant Alibaba last night unveiled plans for one of the biggest stock market floats ever, giving investors a rare chance to tap the country’s burgeoning consumer market.

Alibaba, which offers similar services to those of western tech companies Amazon, eBay and PayPal all rolled into one combined offering for selling goods online, published its intention to sell shares in the US.

The company, which is 22.6 per cent owned by Yahoo, is set to sell a 12 per cent stake when it floats, to raise between $15bn and $20bn. This would value the company at up to $200bn – putting it on par with Facebook and Amazon.

In the filing the company said it will raise a nominal sum of $1bn – a figure used to calculate its registration fee. No decision has yet been made on whether it will list on the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange.

Wall Street’s biggest banks will underwrite the deal, with Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Citi working on the listing. Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank are also on the ticket.

The float will be the biggest ever listing of a Chinese company in the US and is likely to beat the $16bn float of Facebook in 2012 and could even top the $19.6bn float of Visa in 2008.

Alibaba was founded by former teacher Jack Ma, who remains its top shareholder with 8.9 per cent, according to last night’s filing.

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