Alibaba Readies IPO Ahead Of Tour

Should Become Largest Ever In U.S. History

Alibaba IPOChinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group is poised to price its IPO between $60 and $66 per share in an effort to raise $24 billion when it goes public on the New York Stock Exchange, according to a regulatory filing. At that pricing range, Alibaba would likely be valued at around $160 billion, although investor demand could drive valuations higher.

Alibaba’s IPO should become the largest ever in U.S. history, with September 19 tentatively marked as a public launch date.

This week the company’s top officials will begin a U.S. road tour to meet with interested investors in several major American cities. Two teams of senior-level executives – code-named red and orange – will later travel to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia before returning to New York. Alibaba will conduct more than 100 meetings over a 10-day period.

Alibaba plans to sell 123 million shares, taking the unusual step to allow its employees to purchase shares at the IPO price before its stock begins trading on the NYSE, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Although many global banks are involved in preparing for the launch, Alibaba has chosen Barclays as lead underwriter.

In its last fiscal year ended on March 31, Alibaba earned $3.7 billion, making it more profitable than U.S. e-commerce companies eBay and Amazon combined. For the quarter ended in June, Alibaba’s sales jumped 46% to $2.54 billion and its net income almost tripled to $1.99 billion. The company had 279 million active buyers at the close of the June quarter, a 50% rise from a year ago. The number of Alibabas’s monthly mobile users, meanwhile, increased 15% over the prior three months to 188 million.

Founded by Counselor Power 50 member Jack Ma in 1999, Alibaba sells across multiple platforms, including in the B2B space. Thousands of promotional products are widely available on the firm’s sites, including Alibaba.com.