Alibaba Group, the e-commerce giant based in China said on Sunday it would go public on a stock exchange in the U.S. in a move that analysts said might raise as much as $15 billion in this year’s biggest initial public offering to date.
The announcement confirms the plans for an IPO in the U.S. ending many weeks of speculation over the place the company would have its shares listed after its talks for a stock sale in Hong Kong fell through in 2013.
Alibaba is one of the biggest companies on the Internet in the world and says over $150 billion in merchandise changes hands, each year on its platforms online, which is more than eBay and Amazon, combined.
Alibaba started as just a service for linking suppliers in China with retailers located abroad. However, it has spread into e-commerce retail.
It is not known that much abroad. However, it has launched two services, which are consumer oriented, in the U.S.
The company released a prepared statement that said it decided to start the process of an IPO in the U.S. The statement added that by doing that it would make a more global company enhancing the transparency of the business, as well as allowing it to continue its pursuit of its ideals and long term vision.
There were no details released as to the size or timing of the IPO or which exchange it was taking place on. Analysts estimated that the IPO for Alibaba would raise as much as $15 billion and that the company would be worth over $100 billion.
Alibaba, based in Hangzhou, China previously abandoned its plans for a Hong Kong IPO because the stock exchange in Chinese financial center that is semiautonomous refused to change rules it has in order to accommodate the unusual management structure the company uses.
Alibaba could not persuade the exchange in Hong Kong to grant an exception from its listing rules so it could keep a structure of a partnership that allows the company’s top executives who own 10% of the business to retain board control.
The company did say that the door was not shut completely on listing in Hong Kong.
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