Alibaba may be close to potential largest ever tech IPO

17 Apr 2014

China’s e-commerce company Alibaba might be closing in on finalising its first initial public offering (IPO) on the US stock market worth an estimated US$16bn, the largest ever for a tech company.

If the IPO goes ahead, it will exceed social network Facebook’s IPO in 2012, The Irish Times reported. Experts predict Alibaba will file a prospectus for the share sale by Monday.

The company dominates the Chinese online retail market, making up more than four-fifths of all generated revenue, and saw a 66pc boost to sales valued at US$3.06bn.

Alibaba is supposedly planning to comprise one-third of its IPO fees in bonuses to make a more attractive deal to underwriters to the tune of US$200m, or 1.1pc.

The company has refused to comment on the offering but there have been no indications that the IPO is just hearsay.

Jack Ma and a number of partners founded Alibaba in 1999 as a marketplace for Chinese companies and has since availed of the enormous wealth arising from the nation’s boom in manufacturing and trade, spurred by the country’s opening of the economy.

A former English teacher, Ma owns about 7.4pc of the company and has an estimated personal net worth of US$11.5bn, Bloomberg reported.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic