All eyes are set on Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. (BABA) this morning as the company gears up to make its debut on the New York Stock Exchange.
Inside the Alibaba IPO
Why is Alibaba stealing the headlines? If all goes as planned, Alibaba is expected to be the biggest U.S. initial public offering. The company plans to raise over $20 billion and sell an estimated 320 million shares; many are expecting for the company to start trading at least at $68 a share.
Why should investors care? Aside from the size of its IPO, Alibaba is a juggernaut in the online marketplace space. The company boasted online sales of $248 billion last year, which is more than eBay.com (EBAY) and Amazon.com (AMZN) combined. In 2013, it is stated that the company generated $8.5 billion in revenues.
All in all, the IPO is valued at approximately $167 billion, which would make it among the largest in history.
What BABA Means for Mutual Fund Investors
For mutual fund investors, Alibaba’s debut is exciting as many of the biggest companies in the space have expressed interest and buying up shares once they are available.
Fund industry bellwethers including Fidelity, BlackRock, and T. Rowe Price have already asked for some large allocations, and are expected to be among the company’s biggest new shareholders. Smaller firms like Wellington Management Co. and Putnam Investments LLC have also requested shares in the China-based online marketplace behemoth.
Although exact amounts have not been officially disclosed yet, some sources suggest that each of the firms has requested more than $1 billion worth of shares; this showcases the strong interest among institutional investors surrounding this highly-anticipated IPO.
The Bottom Line
There’s no telling how Alibaba’s IPO will play out. What’s certain, however, is that there is strong interest among retail and institutional investors alike, making this a must-watch debut on Wall Street. Furthermore, some mutual fund investors will soon have exposure to the online juggernaut, making it all the more exciting to see how its IPO goes.