Alibaba Taps the New York Stock Exchange for its IPO

Chinese Internet giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. said Thursday it plans to list its American depositary shares on the Big Board.

In an amended S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, China’s giant online retailer confirmed plans to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “BABA.” While the size and target price of the co.’s initial public offering remains uncertain, recent estimates have valued Alibaba between $150 billion to $200 billion. Analysts believe the Chinese IPO could top Facebook (FB)’s $16 billion float on the Nasdaq (NDAQ) to become the biggest tech offering in U.S. history.

The announcement represents a win for NYSE and a setback for the Nasdaq OMX Group, which had been fiercely competing with the Big Board parent IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) for the much-anticipated IPO.

“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,” NYSE’s Eric Ryan said after Alibaba’s choice was made public.

While Nasdaq — which is the listing venue for big tech names including Google (GOOG), Apple (AAPL), Yahoo (YHOO) and Microsoft (MSFT) — missed out on Alibaba, it did land a number of high-profile tech IPOs this year, including Weibo (WB), (JD) and GoPro (GPRO). According to, excluding the pending Alibaba listing, the Nas “so far this year has had tech IPOs valued at $97 billion compared to $48 billion at the NYSE”.

Nasdaq said 62% of all U.S. initial public offerings so far in 2014, the busiest year for the IPO market since the “Dot-Com” era, have occurred on its exchange.

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

Yahoo shares ticked up more than 1% following the announcement. At a $150 billion valuation, the web portal’s 22.6% stake in Alibaba would be worth nearly $34 billion, compared to its current market cap of $33.89 billion.

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