Reports suggest Alibaba will price its shares in the $60-$66 range and begin its roadshow next Monday, with the IPO being tentatively set for September 18th. The high end of that range would raise over $24 billion, a world record. Alibaba has been deliberate about showing robust revenues and margins in the lead-up to the public offering. In an updated investor prospectus, the company reported that second quarter sales increased 46% to $2.54 billion, while profits of $1.99 billion were nearly three times higher than the year ago total.
At the same time, the run-up to the IPO has provided reasons for investor skepticism. Of concern is that board members will be chosen by the firm’s existing partners, meaning that new shareholders will have no control over the people who are supposed to be representing their interests. This insider control of the board was cited as one of the reasons why talks between Alibaba and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange broke down last September. A year later, the company remains firm in its stance. “The interests of the Alibaba Partnership might not coincide with your (the shareholder’s) interests,” read the updated prospectus.
Zalando, a European online fashion site, declared this week its intention to raise more than €500 for a 10% share of the company through a public offering on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The company serves customers in 15 countries but derives 60% of its sales from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Incubated by Rocket Internet, Zalando wasn’t the only e-commerce fashion company in its portfolio to draw attention this week. The five brands Rocket Internet helped develop specifically for emerging markets–Dafiti, Jabong, Lamoda, Namshi, and Zalora–will be brought under a single corporate structure, to be known as Global Fashion Group.
Upland Software Inc., an enterprise work management software company out of Austin, TX, hopes to raise $50 million on the NYSE after filing this week. Upland touts its over 1200 enterprise clients in more than 50 countries, and is backed by Activant Capital and Austin Ventures. William Blair and Raymond James will serve as lead underwriters.
The Dutch antivirus and online security firm AVG will buy Location Labs, a mobile security company with an app that has over 1 million paying customers. The deal could be worth as much as $220 million if certain performance benchmarks are met. Founded in Prague, AVG’s current mobile security offerings are confined to Android. This will change with the addition of Location Labs, which has relationships with all of the major US carriers. Location Labs had raised over $25 million from investors, including DFJ, BlueRun Ventures, and Intel Capital. It will continue to operate out of its Emeryville, CA headquarters post-acquisition.