Thursday, June 26, 2014

Alibaba, Chinese Internet Giant, Picks N.Y.S.E. for Its IPO

Alibaba, Chinese Internet Giant, Picks N.Y.S.E. for Its IPO


In the battle to be the market home for the Alibaba Group, the winner is the New York Stock Exchange.

Alibaba, the Chinese Internet commerce giant, disclosed in an amended prospectus on Thursday that it planned to list on the Big Board, under the ticker symbol BABA. )

The choice is a big victory for the New York Stock Exchange, which had competed with the Nasdaq stock market for what is expected to be one of the biggest initial public offerings in years. Shares of Alibaba could begin trading as soon as early August, according to people briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Alibaba will be the New York Stock Exchange’s biggest Internet I.P.O.Facebook chose the Nasdaq exchange in its market debut two years ago.



Alibaba IPO
Alibaba IPO
“We participated in a comprehensive and deliberate exchange selection process and we are pleased to welcome Alibaba Group to the New York Stock Exchange, where they will join our network of the world’s best companies and leading brands,” a spokeswoman for the New York Stock Exchange said in a statement.

A Nasdaq spokesman said, “Alibaba is a terrific company, and we wish them well as they pursue their initial public offering.”

The two exchanges constantly compete for highly anticipated initial stock offerings, hoping to win listing fees and — perhaps more important — the prestige of big names that could draw other market debutantes.

Nasdaq has captured a bigger percentage of the 142 initial public offerings this year, with roughly 57 percent, according to data from Renaissance Capital. Part of the reason for that lead has been the exchange’s continued dominance in the listings of biotechnology companies.

But I.P.O.s on the New York Stock Exchange have raised more money this year. Such deals have raised $18.8 billion, or nearly 62 percent of the total capital raised.

Furthermore, the Big Board leads in technology initial offerings this year, with 20 compared with Nasdaq’s 16. That follows a big push to muscle into what had traditionally been Nasdaq’s turf.

One of the New York Stock Exchange’s biggest coups was attracting Twitter, in one of the most prominent I.P.O.s last year.

At the same time, Nasdaq has won a number of noted Chinese Internet companies, including the search engine operator Baidu and the e-commerce specialist J.D.com.

Still, several people briefed on Alibaba’s deliberations have said in recent months that the New York Stock Exchange held an edge over its competitor.

One factor that may have weighed on some executives’ minds was Facebook’s botched I.P.O., a morass of trading delays and investor anger that tainted Nasdaq’s reputation.

That Alibaba is listing in the United States at all is because both American exchanges are comfortable with its unusual corporate governance structure. Alibaba features a “partnership,” a group of 27 insiders who will nominate a majority of board members.

The structure is not quite the same as a dual-class stock system in which certain investors hold shares with significantly more voting power than others. But it still ran afoul of the one-share-one-vote principle that governs the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Alibaba’s home market.


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