E-commerce Giant Prepares for the Biggest Tech IPO Ever

Alibaba Group, the Chinese Internet giant, filed Tuesday for what could become the largest initial public offering in the US this year, and perhaps the biggest tech IPO ever.

The e-commerce company, which claims to be “the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world”, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $1 billion, but that figure is likely to be much higher. The IPO is widely expected to surpass the $16 billion Facebook (FB) raised in 2012.

Private company intelligence firm PrivCo predicted that Alibaba will be worth as much as $195 billion. That’s $45 billion more than Facebook’s initial market cap, and a little over half of Google’s $347-billion valuation.

In addition, one of the biggest winners from Alibaba’s IPO is expected to be Yahoo (YHOO). The web portal, whose shares traded up more than 1% late Tuesday after Alibaba’s filing became public, paid $1 billion for a 40% stake in Alibaba in 2005.  Seven year later Alibaba agreed to repurchase more than $7 billion in shares. That 23% stake in the company could be worth more than $40 billion for Yahoo.

Alibaba, which in the most recent quarter reported 54% y/y growth with $1.38 billion in profits – that’s more than Amazon (AMZN) and EBay (EBAY) combined, did not say which exchange it plans to list its shares on. Both Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange are competing for the assignment.

The filing on Tuesday did not specify an offering price or what stock symbol Alibaba plans to use.

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