Alibaba US IPO could be 'biggest since Facebook'

By James Griffiths, October 22, 2013

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The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq have given the green light to an initial public offering in the US for Alibaba Group Holding, parent company of Taobao and Alipay. 

According to the China Daily, Alibaba's special corporate governance structure – which permits top executives to nominate the majority of board members – was approved by both American exchanges after it derailed the company's plans for an IPO in Hong Kong. 

Representatives for the company said that no timetable has been set for the IPO, nor has a listing venue or underwriter been chosen. Nasdaq is expected to compete hard for the listing, after losing out on Twitter's IPO to the NYSE. 

The estimated $15 billion IPO will be the second highest in history, beaten only by Facebook's record breaking offering. Alibaba's value after the initial offering is expected to come in at around $75 billion, though some analysts have predicted a market capitalisation of as much as $110 billion, more than Facebook. 

American tech giant and collector of useless companies Yahoo(!) recently announced that it would retain more of a share in Alibaba than previously expected. Yahoo will sell up to 208 million of the 523.6 million Alibaba shares it owns, down from a previously agreed maximum of 261.5 million. Some analysts point to Yahoo's 24 percent ownership stake in Alibaba as the only thing keeping Marissa Meyer's logo factory afloat, revenue from non-Asian holdings (which includes Alibaba and Yahoo Japan) fell heavily in Q3. 

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