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China's Alibaba Files for U.S. Listing

NEW YORK (The Deal) -- Hong Kong e-commerce group Alibaba Group Holdings filed its long-awaited initial public offering registration statement on Tuesday, May 6, announcing plans to raise $1 billion. Alibaba said it will list American depository shares on the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq Global Market.

From retail shopping sites such as Taobao Marketplace, Tmall and Juhuasuan, and wholesale operations including Alibaba.com and 1688.com, Alibaba had sales of $6.5 billion in revenue in the first nine months of its most recent fiscal year. The company had about $5.6 billion in the prior year.

Co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma has 8.9% of the equity, while executive vice chairman Joseph Tsai has a 3.6% position.

The largest holders are SoftBank and Yahoo! (YHOO), with 34.4% and 22.6% of the equity, respectively.

Ma co-founded Alibaba in 1999. Softbank led a $20 million investment round in 2000, and provided additional financing. Yahoo took a stake in 2005.

Following the IPO, SoftBank will continue to own more than 30% of the stock.

Alibaba can mandate that Yahoo sell 208 million shares in coordination through the IPO.

Excitement about Alibaba's IPO has driven up the share price of the Sunnyvale, Calif., search and Internet media group.

Yahoo shares closed at $36.49 on Tuesday, down 42 cents or 1.1%, then trended up in after-hours trading. In late April, UBS estimated that the Alibaba holdings account for $26.32 of Yahoo's price per share. In the same report, UBS estimated Alibaba's valuation at $115 billion at the time of the IPO and projected that its valuation could rise to $165 billion following the offering.

Alibaba's underwriters are Credit Suisse AG, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs & Co., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co. and Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

Leiming Chen, Daniel Fertig, and William Hinman of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP provided counsel to Alibaba, while Sullivan & Cromwell LLP lawyers William Chua, Jay Clayton, and Sarah Payne advised the underwriters.

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