Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has unveiled more details on its plans to go public through its IPO filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to Stephen Grocer in the Wall Street Journal’s MoneyBeat article, Alibaba valued itself at roughly US$109 billion in April 2014, based on disclosures in the document about the number of shares outstanding and its internal estimate of the value of each share.
However, the company could definitely seek a higher valuation and much is up to investor sentiment. Analyst estimates have ranged from US$136 billion to US$245 billion. Bloomberg estimates its valuation at US$168 billion.
The IPO filing states that Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Goldman, Sachs & Co., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. will underwrite the IPO and act as joint bookrunners. The list of banks could expand as the IPO approaches.
Founded in Jack Ma’s apartment 15 years ago, Alibaba has grown into the largest e-commerce company in the world’s most populous country, one that dwarfs its US counterparts. The Wall Street Journal has reported that the company had 231 million annual active buyers last year and received a total of US$248 billion. Its two consumer marketplaces, Taobao and Tmall account for roughly 80 per cent of all Chinese online shopping transactions, which stood at US$296 billion last year, according to research firm iResearch, and about 84 per cent of the company’s revenue. International commerce accounts for 12 per cent of the top line, while cloud-computing and internet infrastructure represents 1.9 per cent.
Alibaba investor, Yahoo‘s stake is valued at US$26 billion, as Alibaba said it valued its shares in April at US$50, and Yahoo owns 523.6 million shares.