Alibaba seeks to raise more than $21 billion in record U.S. tech IPO

Fri Sep 5, 2014 6:49pm EDT
 
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By Liana B. Baker, Avik Das and Soham Chatterjee

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd [IPO-BABA.N] seeks to raise more than $21 billion in an IPO that will value the Chinese e-commerce giant at up to $163 billion and rank as the largest-ever technology debut in the United States.

Alibaba expects to price its initial public offering between $60 and $66 per American Depository Share, valuing the company at about $162.69 billion at the top end of the range and raising a maximum of $21.1 billion.

The company founded by former English schoolteacher Jack Ma will decide on its final price after a globe-spanning roadshow that will kick off in New York on Monday, and is expected to stop in cities from Hong Kong to San Francisco.

If all goes well, Alibaba may ring the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange in as little as two weeks.

Industry analysts had expected Alibaba to try for a valuation in excess of $200 billion, ranking the Chinese company among the 20 largest publicly traded companies in the United States. It may eventually price above the initial range, should it deem investor demand sufficient.

Many investors are eager to buy a piece of a Chinese company that handles more e-commerce than Amazon.com Inc and eBay combined.

"This number may seem enormous, but when you look at the value compared with the company’s fundamentals, it’s not as rich as we might expect," said Brian Hamilton, chairman of private company analysis firm Sageworks.

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People play in a hall inside Alibaba's headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, April 23, 2014. REUTERS/Chance Chan