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Alibaba Group Holding Limited, China’s largest e-commerce company, is planning an initial public offering that could raise as much as $20 billion, which would make it the largest IPO in U.S. history. The IPO is expected to give the company a post-offering valuation somewhere in the vicinity of $200 billion.
The company has set the initial price range for its shares at $60 to $66 per share, valuing the company at approximately $155 billion. Alibaba’s road show is expected to begin on September 8. The pricing will be finalized on the evening of September 17 and the shares are currently scheduled to begin trading on the morning of September 18 under the stock symbol BABA.
The fast growing, hugely profitable Alibaba is not without controversy. Alibaba’s corporate governance structure is unorthodox and Jack Ma, the company’s CEO, has a reputation for making quick decisions and closing on investments and acquisitions without a lot of due diligence. Of course, the same could be said of Mark Zuckerberg. Moreover, some of Alibaba’s acquisitions have raised conflict of interest allegations against Mr. Ma. Also, it was recently disclosed that Alibaba’s IPO will result in a windfall for some of the relatives of China’s leaders. Transparency is one of my concerns.
Alibaba’s largest pre-offering shareholders are Softbank (34.3%) and Yahoo (22.5%). Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, owns 8.9% of the company. Yahoo is contractually committed to selling a bit less than 27% of its position in the IPO. The remainder of the shares will be locked up for one year.
This board has been created for the purpose of discussing Alibaba’s stock price, financial prospects, actual results, management decisions and the merits of its business model. It is neither a Bulls nor a Bears board and all opinions are welcome. Hopefully, we can avoid the “to the moon” and “Alibaba sucks” commentary.
The board is moderated and my expectation is that everyone will be civil to one another. Pretend that your mother is reading the board and that she knows your virtual handle. No name calling and please avoid engaging in political commentary unless it has a specific bearing on Alibaba.
SEC filings: http://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/browse-edgar?action=getcompany&CIK=0001577552&owner=exclude&count=40&hidefilings=0
Alibaba website: http://www.alibaba.com/
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