Alibaba IPO likely to be launched Next Week
Alibaba IPO launch is likely to happen next week according to Seeking Alpha (SA) News Editor Yoel Minkoff. In an email sent to SA subscribers, the lunch will probably happen in the week of Sept 8 and the IPO date could be Sept 18 or 19. The e-mail cited WSJ as its source.
The Chinese e-commerce giant is expected to go public in the U.S. this month in an IPO that is tipped to be the largest in tech IPO history. If all goes well, the IPO could raise more than $20 billion, toppling Facebook Inc’s (NASDAQ: FB) $16 billion.
The date of this IPO has been subject of speculations as no official date has been announced. The initial plan was to have the IPO in August, but the date was rescheduled due to regulatory approval and the just ended U.S. summer break.
Alibaba still waits SEC approval
Alibaba has been waiting for a thumps up from the Securities and Exchange Commission. It is about four months since the company submitted its application for listing. Generally, it takes companies 3 to 4 months to go through the normal listing procedure. However, a large IPO as this one could probably take longer. The period may also be longer if the company has to go through several filing amendments.
Until now Alibaba has revised its initial IPO filing five times responding to the concerns raised by both the regulator and investors. Among the amendments include explaining Alibaba’s complex VIE and corporate structures.
Its corporate structure has been a subject of concern to investors and was also the main reason why Alibaba backed out of Hong Kong Listing. The structure involves a group of 27 partners with ability to nominate a majority of the company’s board members, despite the group’s stake inferiority. Alibaba’s largest shareholder is Japanese multinational SoftBank Corp with 34.4%, followed by Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) which owns 22.6%. The group (Alibaba Partnership) owns just 15%.
Until SEC gives its approval, Alibaba cannot set its price or the IPO date. So in the interim, Alibaba has been familiarising itself with the U.S. market, through a number of strategic acquisitions. The Huang Zhou based firm had planned to launch once it has received the final word from regulatory body. Nevertheless, it appears that the regulator is not far from giving its confirmation now that the company is hinting a next week launch.
Probable IPO Date
The earlier reports indicate that Alibaba, which owns over 80% of China’s e-commerce market, planned a two-week road-show crossing through all the potential markets before the IPO date. So if the launch happens early next week, then it is possible that by the end of the subsequent week the market will be ready for the debut of the juicy stock.
An Alibaba Group holding is an e-commerce company headquartered in eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou. It operates the Taobao , Tmall and Juhuasuan online marketplaces among other online products. Taobao and Tmall alone general merchandise volume stood at $248 billion. The company is more like a combination of eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) and Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN).
If all goes to plan, Alibaba IPO date is likely to be on Thursday or Friday of the week that the road show comes to an end. The stock will trade under the symbol BABA on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).