Alibaba could raise $21.8 million after its huge IPO launched Thursday (Sept. 18) at $68/share.
“The price gives the e-commerce company an initial market value of $168 billion, making it one of the 40 biggest public companies globally, according to S&P Capital IQ, and worth more than U.S. online- shopping giant Amazon.com Inc. Amazon is currently valued at $150 billion,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Alibaba’s founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma, Alibaba’s top managers and their bankers have pitched the company over the past two weeks as an opportunity to invest in the growth of China’s middle class, as more Chinese buy goods and services via the Internet and mobile phones, and to enjoy the profits generated by the company’s platform model. The company connects buyers and sellers without the cost of holding inventory on its own.”
Ma himself did reasonably well, with a paper personal value today of more than $13 billion.
“Mr. Ma told investors that the move to separate key units from Alibaba, such as online-payment network Alipay, was one of the toughest decisions of his life, but necessary due to rules in China about foreign control of some types of assets, people at the meetings said,” the Journal story said. “The company also faced questions about the way it concentrates its corporate power in a group of 30 partners, a system that barred it from listing in Hong Kong. Mr. Ma, in a public letter to investors, wrote that preserving the partnership culture was integral to Alibaba’s future success.”