Wednesday's Breakfast Briefing: Everything you need to know about Alibaba's IPO filing

Everything you need to know to start your day.

Wednesday's Breakfast Briefing: Everything you need to know about Alibaba's IPO filing

What is Alibaba again? And why should I care?
Alibaba is a Chinese e-commerce giant, and its IPO is an indicator of the maturation of the country’s technology sector and its willingness to make money through American markets. It could become the largest tech IPO ever and the biggest Chinese company to go public on a US exchange. An analyst told Dealbook: "They are like an Amazon, an eBay, and a PayPal" rolled into one.
Great, but show me data.
Recent valuations have placed Alibaba’s worth at between $150 billion and $200 billion, meaning it could raise up to $15 billion by going public. It has its hands on 80% of e-commerce in China, the world’s second-biggest economy.
What is the company saying to stakeholders?
Founder Jack Ma addressed employees in a letter timed for its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Its theme: "Alibaba is about to enter a new era of challenges."
Is Alibaba working with PR firms before the IPO?
Yes. PRWeek reported last month that Sard Verbinnen & Co., Brunswick Group, and Hill+Knowlton Strategies are all supporting the company’s comms strategy.
What does Yahoo have to do with this?
Yahoo purchased a 40% stake in Alibaba in 2005, and it now owns about 23%. However, it must sell a third of that through the IPO, meaning its investment is going to pay off - big time - with a massive cash windfall upwards of $10 billion. That means Yahoo will have the money to buy other companies and better compete with rivals such as Facebook and Google. It also means Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will be under serious pressure from investors to show progress turning the company around.
What's next? And what didn't it say?
Alibaba did not pick a stock exchange, meaning the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq are both stiill in the hunt for its listing.

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