NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Alibaba's underwriters are unlikely to steal the show as the Chinese e-commerce giant moves towards what may be a record-sized IPO on either the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq.
There was no lead underwriter disclosed in Alibaba's F-1 filing on Tuesday. Instead, underwriters were listed in alphabetical order, excluding Citigroup, which sources have said will take a slightly junior role.
Alibaba, in its initial F-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, listed underwriters Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley in alphabetical order, with no single underwriter getting a so-called lead-left treatment on the prospectus.
The alphabetical treatment of five of the investment banks underwriting Alibaba's stock offering contrasts to recent blockbuster internet IPO's in the U.S. such as Facebook (FB) or Twitter (TWTR). The prospectuses of those offerings gave clear signal to who would be the lead underwriter.
In Facebook's case, Morgan Stanley got the coveted lead left status and ran the company's $16 billion IPO. Goldman Sachs won that mandate in Twitter's IPO. In the lead up to both of those offerings, it became a minor obsession of journalists to be first to report who would be named lead underwriter.
Alibaba's IPO, which is expected to surpass both Facebook and Twitter's IPO's in terms of size and valuation, doesn't disclose a single lead underwriter. Instead, the alphabetical treatment indicates an equal role among five of Alibaba's underwriters, with Citigroup playing a slightly smaller role, a source said.