Report: Alibaba prepping IPO with help from Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs

Alibaba, one of China's largest e-commerce businesses, could be going public this year, causing tech analysts to wonder how Yahoo will play into this.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

While Dell could be in the midst of going private, there's another tech giant possibly preparing to go public this year -- but this one involves more than meets the eye.

Alibaba is reportedly preparing an initial public offering, according to a report from Bloomberg -- following hot on the heels of the news that the company's co-founder and CEO, Jack Ma, is stepping down this May.

Citing two unnamed "people with knowledge of the matter," Bloomberg added that the Chinese e-commerce giant has enlisted help from Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs to get things rolling.

Nevertheless, there doesn't appear to be anything on the record just yet. Acknowledging that there was no official comment from either investment firm, Alibaba spokesperson John Spelich also told Bloomberg that the company "has not hired any banks in connection with any IPOs."

Of course, that's not going to stop anyone from theorizing about it now.

But one of the biggest questions that will need to be addressed if/when an IPO becomes official is how this will involve Yahoo. And so far, it seems to be working in Yahoo's favor.

Last September, Alibaba bought back half of the stake that Yahoo owned in the company for $7.6 billion -- already drawing speculation about an IPO at the time.

Given that Yahoo still owns roughly a quarter of Alibaba now, Forbes pointed out today that Yahoo's stock is up to approximately $20.

This is significant, according to Forbes, because Yahoo owns a considerable chunk of Alibaba, which is now likely thought to be worth more than previously estimated around the time Yahoo sold off part of its share.

Thus, while an IPO would undoubtedly be a big move for Alibaba, it could turn out to be a bigger coup (and payday) for Yahoo.

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