Alibaba seeking partner-led board ahead of HK IPO-paper

HONG KONG Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:15am EDT

HONG KONG Aug 23 (Reuters) - Alibaba Group is planning a management structure that would allow its partners to nominate the board and retain control over decision-making after it goes public, the Hong Kong Economic Times (HKET) daily reported on Friday.

The Chinese e-commerce firm is widely expected to launch an initial public offering worth more than $15 billion by the end of the year, with Hong Kong tipped as the likely venue.

The HKET report cited sources familiar with Alibaba's thinking and gave no further details. An Alibaba spokesman in Hong Kong declined to comment on the report when contacted by Reuters.

Alibaba's partners include Chairman Jack Ma, former Chief Financial Officer Joe Tsai, Alibaba's current Chief Executive Jonathan Lu and other senior managers and company founders.

Reuters had earlier reported the company was in talks with the Hong Kong stock exchange about allowing its founders to maintain control after the IPO, possibly through a dual class listing which favours a company's management and founders over individual investors.

The Hong Kong stock exchange generally disapproves of dual class listings and the sources told the HKET daily that Alibaba was not planning such a move.

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