HONG KONG, March 18 Chinese e-commerce giant
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd will hold the kickoff meeting for its
planned U.S. initial public offering on March 25, setting in
motion the most high-profile listing since Facebook Inc's
offering nearly two years ago, sources familiar with the plans
said on Tuesday.
The company, whose platforms handle more goods than EBay Inc
and Amazon.com Inc combined, will meet with
the six main banks arranging the deal, as well as lawyers and
other professionals working on the IPO.
In the meeting in Hong Kong, Alibaba will discuss their
roles and outline plans for the listing, added the sources, who
were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Alibaba said on Sunday it decided to hold its long-awaited
IPO in the United States. It is in discussions with Citigroup
, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank,
Goldman Sachs Group, J.P. Morgan, and Morgan
Stanley for lead underwriting roles.
A separate roster of banks to take on second-tier positions
on the deal is also expected to be unveiled on Tuesday, one
The listing will be closely watched by Alibaba's two largest
shareholders - Yahoo Inc, which owns 24 percent, and
Japan's Softbank Corp, which controls 37 percent.
Alibaba's founders and some senior managers jointly own about 13
percent of the company.
Alibaba declined to comment on the IPO kickoff meeting.