Alibaba IPO 'could launch by end of the month'

by Michael Moore| 11 July 2014

$250bn deal could be largest flotation in history.

Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba could launch its highly-anticipated IPO in a matter of weeks, it has been reported.

A timetable for the New York flotation, which is set to be one of the largest in history and raise up to $20bn for the company, were leaked to the Wall Street Journal by people familiar with the matter, revealing that the process could be completed by the end of the month.

The process for such a large deal will take around two weeks to complete, depending on market conditions, the sources reported, and will include a "roadshow" pitching the deal to investors.

Hong Kong-based Alibaba originally filed for an IPO in May, with initial estimates valuing the deal at around $245bn, which would make it one of the biggest flotations the market has ever seen.

The timetable was included in a notice to investors asking them to agree to the standard "lockup" period, which would block them from selling their shares for a period of 180 days after the IPO.

The revelations came as it was reported that the primary regulatory hurdle Alibaba must clear to facilitate the float, the Securities and Exchange Commission, has given no signal that it won't approve the stock sale.

This had been in doubt following complaints from investors that some details on the business were unavailable, leading Alibaba to release an updated prospectus revealing both the members of its controlling 27-person partnership and the names of the nine members which will make up its post-IPO board, which includes founder Jack Ma and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang.

The company, which reportedly handles more transactions than Amazon and eBay combined, revealed that its net income in the quarter ending March 2014 climbed 32% to 5.543 billion yuan ($892.7 million).

Statistics released by the company say that it processed 11.3bn orders last year across its portfolio of sites, spread over 231m customers.

 

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