China-based Alibaba Group is likely to begin trading publicly on the New York Stock Exchange on September 16, in an IPO that could be the largest in U.S. history, according to a report in Bloomberg. The news comes as Jack Ma, Alibaba’s executive chairman, will soon take part in a significant round of investor meetings on three continents to plan and execute the roll out, Bloomberg said.
Citing unnamed sources, the report suggests September 2 would be the day Alibaba releases an official price range for its stock. A final price would have to be set by Monday, September 15, in order for the public offering to begin as planned. Six banks, including Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, are underwriting the IPO, although a dozen more may have smaller roles in the process.
Just within the U.S., investor meetings would take place in Boston, New York, Kansas City, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco, among other major cities, Bloomberg said. Alibaba’s IPO could raise as much as $20 billion for the firm, which Ma founded in 1999. Although it has added to its services with recent acquisitions, Alibaba gained international notoriety for operating websites where merchants can sell items – including promotional products – directly to consumers worldwide. For its latest fiscal year, which ended in March, Alibaba reported sales of 52.5 billion yuan ($8.5 billion), a 52% jump over the prior 12 months.