On September 19, 2014 U.S. Eastern Standard Time, Alibaba Group
Holding Limited ("Alibaba") began
trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol
"BABA". A total of 320,106,100 American Depositary Shares
(excluding green shoe) were offered and approximately US$21.8
billion proceeds were raised in the offering, making Alibaba's
IPO the biggest one in the history of the U.S. capital markets.
King & Wood Mallesons ("KWM")
acted as the PRC legal counsel for the six lead underwriters in
Alibaba's U.S. listing. From the kick-off to the filing of
registration form with SEC, the roadshow and the successful
listing, KWM lawyers participated in every stage of this milestone
project and witnessed every important event of Alibaba's U.S.
Alibaba is a leading e-commerce company and a model for
globalization of Chinese companies. With a sound corporate
governance structure, clear strategies and business development
goals, Alibaba has attracted great interests from a significant
number of U.S. and other international investors, a critical factor
for Alibaba's successful listing in the U.S.
As disclosed in the prospectus, Alibaba has an international
team of directors and senior management members. Alibaba's
board of directors includes Jack Ma, who is already well-known to
the world, and other members such as Joseph Tsai who is relatively
low-key but also has extremely remarkable profile. Joseph Tsai
received his bachelor's degree in Economics and East Asian
Studies from Yale College and a juris doctor degree from Yale Law
School. He had extensive working experiences at a Wall Street law
firm and an investment fund before he joined Alibaba in 1999 as a
member of the Alibaba founding team. Under the leadership of Jack
Ma and Joseph Tsai, Alibaba has assembled talented people of
different professions from all over the world. Maggie Wu,
Alibaba's Chief Financial Officer, was an audit partner at KPMG
before joining Alibaba. Timothy A. Steinert, Alibaba's General
Counsel and Corporate Secretary, was a partner at Freshfields
Bruckhaus Deringer before joining Alibaba. After the joining of
Masayoshi Son of Softbank, Jerry Yang of Yahoo, and Chee Hwa Tung,
the former First Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region as outside directors, Alibaba has become a
truly international company with deep roots in China.
In addition, Alibaba has also expanded its business footprints
into other countries. For example, Alibaba has made a number of
overseas strategic investments, acquisitions and alliances since
2013, including its investment in Shoprunner, a logistics company
in the US, Fanatics, an e-commerce website selling sports equipment
in the US, Quixey, an apps search engine in the US, TangoMe, a
leading mobile messaging services company in the US and Singapore
Global talents, international vision and strategies are all
important to Alibaba's successful cooperation with the six lead
underwriters, its smooth communication with the U.S. regulator and
productive dialogs with international investors. KWM, as the PRC
legal counsel for the six underwriters, is also in the process of
expanding its global network. After the strategic combination with
Mallesons Stephen Jaques in Australia and SJ Berwin in the U.K.,
KWM has transformed itself from a Chinese law firm to a global one.
KWM's international initiative is of vital importance to the
improvement of KWM lawyers' professional skills. The
transformation of Alibaba from a China-based company to an
international one is also a valuable example for KWM and other
Chinese law firms in their future expansion into the international
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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