Counselor

Alibaba Raises $25 billion IPO

Underwriters bought 48 million additional shares of Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) following its initial public offering, officially making the Chinese firm’s $25 billion public debut the largest in history. Alibaba initially raised $21.8 billion when it went public on the New York Stock Exchange in September, driven by high demand that pushed the stock to a 38% day-one gain. While Alibaba’s $93.89 opening day close had fallen to $88 at presstime, analysts expect the stock to leap to as much as $125 per share within one year.

With underwriters purchasing more shares – exercising a so-called ”greenshoe“ option – Alibaba’s deal raced past the Agricultural Bank of China, the prior record holder, which raised $22 billion through its 2010 Hong Kong listing. Based on its current share price, Alibaba has a market capitalization of more than $230 billion – larger than major U.S. companies like Amazon, Facebook and Procter & Gamble, among others.

The public offering has made Alibaba founder and executive chairman Jack Ma, who ranks #14 on this year’s Counselor Power 50 list, the richest person in China. Ma took in more than $800 million selling Alibaba shares and the value of his remaining 7.8% company stake is now up to $17 billion.

Through its burgeoning platforms, with a new focus on mobile, analysts believe Alibaba will continue to win market share in China and globally. The company had 279 million active buyers at the close of the June quarter, a 50% rise from a year earlier. The number of Alibaba’s monthly mobile users, meanwhile, increased 15% over the prior three months to 188 million. For the quarter ended in June, Alibaba’s revenues jumped 46% to $2.54 billion.

Through a variety of acquisitions, including ShopRunner, Alibaba appears ready to expand further into the U.S., first targeting consumer sales. A stronger move into the B2B space is also possible. – DV