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Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba priced its initial public offering late Thursday at $68 a share, enough to make in the largest U.S. IPO in history. The stock will begin trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol, “BABA.”
The IPO will raise $21.8 billion and make the entire company worth about $168 billion. Prior to Alibaba, the biggest IPO in the U.S. was Visa, which raised $17.9 billion in 2008.
The IPO will infuse about $8.3 billion in cash into the coffers of Yahoo, which was an early investor in Alibaba. Yahoo, which on Thursday had a market capitalization of $42 billion, will keep about $27 billion worth of its Alibaba stock.
The IPO should also move founder and chairman Jack Ma into the top 100 of Forbes’ list of billionaires. He’ll take about $867 million in cash after the IPO and retain a stake worth some $13 billion, which makes him about equal in wealth to media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
Ma, 50, a former English teacher, founded Alibaba from his small apartment 15 years ago. It grew from a business-to-business portal to a consumer e-commerce company with services similar to Amazon, eBay, PayPal and more. The company also runs China Yahoo and ChinaVision Media Group, which focuses on online entertainment.
Alibaba’s reported revenue surged 46 percent in the quarter ending in June, with a net income of $2 billion.
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