If the initial public offering of JD.com serves as the proxy for the anticipated Alibaba IPO, then that offering should be both well-received and one of the biggest in history.
This story first appeared in the May 23, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
JD.com, Alibaba’s biggest competitor in China, raised $1.78 billion Thursday in a public offering, more than the initial $1.5 billion it forecast. The company, which sold 93.7 million shares, priced Wednesday night at $19 a share, above its expected range of $16 to $18 a share. The stock closed at $20.90.
JD.com is only the latest Chinese e-commerce company to do an IPO. On May 16, China’s largest online beauty e-tailer, Jumei International Holding Inc., operating its site at Jumei.com, raised $245.1 million in a public offering of 11.1 million American Depositary Shares that gives the company a valuation of $4.02 billion. Backed by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, the shares priced at $22 a share and rose as high as $28.28 in its first day of trading. Shares of Jumei currently trade at $22.54.
Alibaba is up next. The Web giant, which generated $248 billion in merchandise sales in China last year, is expected to list sometime this year. Financial sources said it likely would be in the next two months.
An Alibaba IPO could value the company at more than $200 billion and raise more than $15 billion. In comparison, Facebook was valued at $104 billion at its IPO.
While tech IPOs are still in vogue in the U.S., the IPO front isn’t so bullish overseas.
On Thursday, British lifestyle outdoor apparel brand and retailer Fat Face canceled its plans to float a minority stake on the London Stock Exchange, citing current equity market conditions.