Alibaba, which has been described as a behemoth that combines eBay and Amazon.com is expected to raise about $24 billion and become the largest IPO in history for a US listed company. If things go as expected, its market valuation could hit a record $163 billion. That’s larger than 95% of the companies on the S&P500 and would make it the third most valuable Internet company after only Google and Facebook. Alibaba sets its initial offering price at between $60 and $66 and will begin trading later in September on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “BABA.”
The group began in 1999 when Jack Ma founded the web site Alibaba.com, a business-to-business portal to connect Chinese manufacturers with overseas buyers. Ma says he picked the name Alibaba because “everyone knows the story of Alibaba. He’s a young man who is willing to help others”. The company was built on a similar premise: to help businesses find overseas customers. Alibaba’s consumer-to-consumer portal Taobao, similar to eBay, features nearly a billion products and is one of the 20 most-visited websites globally. Alibaba Group’s sites account for over 60% of the parcels delivered in China. In 2012, two of Alibaba’s portals together handled 1.1 trillion yuan ($170 billion) in sales, more than competitors eBay and Amazon.com combined.
Alibaba accounts for about 80 percent of all online retail sales in China, where rising Internet usage and an expanding middle class helped the company generate gross merchandise volume of $296 billion in the 12 months ended June 30. Revenue in the June quarter increased 46 percent to $2.54 billion from a year earlier, faster than the 38.7 percent growth in the previous quarter.
The company is expected to embark on its investor roadshow by the week beginning 8th Sep 2014 in New York and is expected to reach around the globe to London and Hong Kong.Alibaba could begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange by Sept. 19.