Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd plans to hold its much-awaited market debut in the United States. It is currently locked in talks with six banks to facilitate the initial public offering that is expected to be the biggest by a tech company since Facebook Inc’s listing in 2012.
Alibaba announced the listing, which is expected to raise nearly $15 billion, on Sunday in a statement that ended months of speculation on where it might go public. However, the company didn’t disclose when the IPO will be rolled out, and on which stock exchange.
Sources privy to the matter revealed that the Hangzhou, China-based firm is holding talks with Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs Group, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan to underwrite the IPO.
Alibaba is estimated to be worth at least $140 billion, and its listing will see the six banks pocket nearly $260 million in underwriting fees, based on a 1.75 percent commission.
“Alibaba Group has decided to commence the process of an initial public offering in the United States,” said the company in the statement. “This will make us a more global company and enhance the company’s transparency, as well as allow the company to continue to pursue our long-term vision and ideals.”
When contacted, neither Alibaba nor the banks involved in the discussions agreed to give any comment on the matter.
Alibaba, which controls 80 percent of China’s e-commerce industry, has 500 million customers and over 800 million products listings. This makes it the world’s biggest online retailer; far bigger than Amazon.com Inc and EBay Inc combined. It was founded in 1999, and has over 20,000 employees.
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