TODAY'S PAPER
84° Good Afternoon
84° Good Afternoon
Business

Alibaba's IPO biggest ever: $25B

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s initial public offering became the biggest ever at $25 billion, after the company's bankers exercised an option to boost the deal size by 15 percent.

The underwriters bought an additional 48 million shares from the company at the IPO price of $68 each, according to a statement from Alibaba Monday. Including the extra shares, Alibaba was able to surpass the current IPO record held by Agricultural Bank of China Ltd.'s $22.1 billion sale in 2010.

Shares of Alibaba fell $4 today to $89.89 after surging 38 percent during their trading debut on Friday. Alibaba is among the most valuable companies in the United States.

"Expectations for this company are sky high," Li Muzhi, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Arete Research Service LLP, said yesterday. "The market seems to be using Alibaba as a proxy for the macroeconomy and consumer economy."

Alibaba's underwriters earned a total of $300 million in fees, taking home 1.2 percent of the proceeds, according to a filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Among the biggest of its bankers, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley each earned 15.7 percent of the fees, while Citigroup Inc.'s share represented 7.9 percent, the filing shows.

About 50 percent of Alibaba's IPO was allocated to 25 institutional investors, people familiar with the matter said last week. Such a concentrated deal encouraged more fund managers to buy on the first day of trading, as they sought exposure to Alibaba's dominance over a booming e-commerce industry in China, a country of 1.36 billion people.

McKinsey & Co. predicts online commerce in the world's second-largest economy will reach $395 billion next year, triple its 2011 level. Alibaba's retail platforms helped generate 6.1 billion package shipments in the 12 months ended in June, accounting for 54 percent of the nation's total, the company said in August.

Operating profit at Alibaba advanced to $1.1 billion in the three months ended in June, or 42 percent more than the combined profit of Amazon and eBay for the period. Revenue rose 46 percent in local currency to the equivalent of $2.54 billion.

Alibaba drew crowds of money managers to meetings held around the world as the company pitched itself this month to prospective shareholders. As many as 800 people turned up to the first event at New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel.

Jack Ma, who started Alibaba from his Hangzhou apartment in 1999 with $60,000, watched his net worth swell to $26.5 billion as the shares rose, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The 50-year-old former schoolteacher is China's richest man, trailing only Hong Kong property tycoon Li Ka-shing among Asian billionaires.

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

More news