US to get coveted Alibaba IPO after Hong Kong talks founder
Loss of the sale, which bankers have estimated to be worth more than $15bn, is a blow to the Hong Kong stock exchange
Jack Ma Alibaba founder: The choice of New York should make it easy for Ma and his management team to keep a tight grip on the company with a dual share structure used by internet companies such as Google and Facebook. Photograph: Reuters
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd will pursue an IPO in the US after talks with Hong Kong regulators broke down, a move bound to set off a dogfight between the two main US stock boards for the offering.
The loss of the sale, which bankers have estimated to be worth more than $15 billion, is a blow to the Hong Kong stock exchange, as the deal would have added to its clout and its trading volumes.
The negotiations foundered after regulators decided they would not allow Alibaba’s partners to retain control over board nominations, maintaining that all shareholders should be treated equally.
A US listing for Alibaba would come at a time when the NYSE Euronext is seeking to snatch business away from the Nasdaq OMX Group, traditionally home to tech companies, after Facebook debut was marred by glitches on the exchange.
Social media network Twitter is leaning toward picking the New York Stock Exchange over Nasdaq for its highly anticipated initial public offering.
Alibaba, which some analysts estimate to be worth up to $120 billion, is the most anticipated Internet IPO since Facebook’s $16 billion offer last year. The company commands 80 per cent of China’s e-commerce market and consumers bought a combined 1 trillion yuan of goods last year through Tmall and Taobao, Alibaba’s main market platforms, up 58 per cent from 2011.
Alibaba has engaged US law firms to start working on its IPO and will soon be hiring banks to manage the listing, added the company source, who was not authorised to speak publicly on the matter.
The choice of New York should make it easy for Alibaba founder Jack Ma and his management team to keep a tight grip on the company with a dual share structure used by internet companies such as Google and Facebook. Alibaba and the Hong Kong stock exchange declined to comment. – (Reuters)