Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. plans to stop taking orders for the early sale of its $21 billion initial public offering (IPO) today for US investors and on Wednesday for European and Asian investors after having already received enough interest from the first week of its roadshow, sources tell Bloomberg. Those investors who have not had their meetings by the deadline will still be allowed to place orders.
Alibaba has gained sufficient demand to sell its stock at the high end of the current $60 to $66 range—or more—when it goes public on September 19. The banks running the sale are determining whether Alibaba can increase the price range or the number of shares offered as the launch nears. Alibaba will set a final price the day before the launch, which is projected to be the largest IPO ever. As of now, 320.1 million shares are set to be offered.
The early closing allows the banks to process the orders, judge the demand, and determine final pricing. Although early closing on large IPOs isn’t uncommon, The Financial Times warns that the demand may be misleading with investors often inflating their orders.
According to the Financial Times article, turnout for events and general interest—800 investors attended the roadshow opener in New York—has spurred early inspector speculation that hints at Alibaba rising its share prices above $66. Even if the range remains unchanged, Alibaba would be valued at up to $163 billion.
Alibaba started its roadshow last week with stops in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The tour will continue in Europe and Asia this week.
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