Alibaba said to have picked CICC, Credit Suisse to lead its Hong Kong share sale

Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has picked China International Capital Corp. and Credit Suisse Group AG to lead a planned Hong Kong share sale, people familiar with the matter said.

The online retailer is in discussions with other investment banks seeking a role on the offering, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Alibaba plans to file a formal listing application with the Hong Kong stock exchange as soon as the next few weeks, the people said.

The offering could raise as much as $20 billion, though Alibaba hasn’t finalized a precise fundraising target, the people said. A deal that size would be Hong Kong’s largest share sale since 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The transaction could bolster the city’s status as a destination for Chinese tech listings and boost Alibaba’s cash pile as it wages a costly war of subsidies with Meituan Dianping in food delivery and travel.

Alibaba will seek to preserve its existing governance structure, where a partnership of top executives has rights including the ability to nominate a majority of board members, one of the people said. Under new rules for secondary listings introduced by the Hong Kong bourse last year, the company can apply for an exemption to standard restrictions in the city that would bar that kind of setup.

Preparations are at an early stage, and details of the offering could change, the people said. Alibaba declined to comment in an emailed statement. Representatives for CICC and Credit Suisse also declined to comment.

Credit Suisse was the left-lead bank on Alibaba’s 2014 U.S. IPO, which raised a record $25 billion. Alibaba also has an existing relationship with CICC, once dubbed “the Goldman Sachs of China” for its work bringing some of the country’s biggest state-run firms to market. It owns 11.7% of CICC’s Hong Kong-traded shares, making Alibaba the second-biggest holder, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Bloomberg

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.