Alibaba consider listing on the London Stock Exchange
China’s largest online retailer could be considering listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) to debut its shares, which are estimated to raise as much as £15.4 billion.
According to a report by the Telegraph, Alibaba is understood to have held high-level meetings with officials from the LSE in Hong Kong last week, over the potential listing which, if London was chosen, would be one of the City’s biggest deals in recent years.
Although an Alibaba spokesperson has since told press that there is no current timescale or confirmed venue for the listing, a float on the LSE would provide a huge boost to the capital’s status as a global financial centre.
The impending initial public offering will be the biggest anywhere since Facebook’s debut last year in New York. Earlier this year, Alibaba appointed Jonathan Lu as chief executive to lead the company through a floatation, following founder Jack Ma’s statement in June 2012 that an IPO could be possible within the next five years.
At just 14 years old, Alibaba’s phenomenal rise in popularity means it is now one of the 20 most-visited websites globally. Combining a consumer-to-consumer platform, Taobao, with a business-to-business portal, Alibaba.com, the group’s sites together handled CNY 1.1 trillion, (GBP 105 billion) in sales, beating the combined efforts of eBay and Amazon, its key rivals in the west.