Alibaba delays meeting with investors on IPO

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Alibaba delays meeting with investors on IPO

Alibaba Group is pushing back the start date for investor meetings for its initial public offering by about a week to answer questions posed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, (SEC) a person with knowledge of the matter said.

The Chinese e-commerce giant, which was previously weighing a plan to begin marketing its IPO early this week, now sees the investor meetings beginning the week of Sept. 8, with tentative pricing on Sept. 18 and trading to start the following day, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private information.

Alibaba, based in Hangzhou, China, has been in discussions with the SEC as it seeks regulatory approval of its prospectus. The company has held off rushing the deal, after originally targeting an early August trading debut, a person familiar with the matter said in July.

Florence Shih, a spokeswoman for Alibaba in Hong Kong, declined to comment.

The investor meetings - called a roadshow - will give Alibaba, founded by billionaire Jack Ma, the opportunity to answer questions from the world’s biggest fund managers and build demand for its shares. With Alibaba and selling shareholders expected to raise as much as $20 billion, the IPO has the potential to be the largest offering in U.S. history.

At $20 billion, Alibaba’s sale would edge past Visa’s $19.65 billion IPO in 2008 as the largest in U.S. history.

The Chinese e-commerce operator, which plans to sell shares on the New York Stock Exchange, may set its IPO value at $154 billion, or 22 percent below analyst valuations, in a move that could avoid repeating Facebook’s listing flop, according to the average estimate of five analysts. The same analysts give Alibaba an average post-listing valuation of $198 billion, the survey shows.


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