By Kane Wu, Sumeet Chatterjee and Julie Zhu
HONGKONG (Reuters) – Alibaba Group is considering raising as much as $20 billion through a second listing and has picked Hong Kong as the venue, three sources told Reuters, in another blockbuster deal after its record $25 billion public float in New York in 2014.
A second listing will give Alibaba the war chest it needs to keep investing in technology as growth in China flags and the world’s No.2 economy pushes to strengthen its tech industry amid an escalating trade spat with the United States.
The e-commerce giant is working with financial advisers on the offering and is aiming to file an application in Hong Kong as early as the second half of 2019, said the sources, who are familiar with the matter but did not want to be named as the plans are not public yet.
A spokesman from Alibaba declined to comment.
Since its U.S. listing, Alibaba has nearly doubled in size to become the largest-listed Chinese company with a market value of more than $400 billion.
Hong Kong, Alibaba’s initial preference for its IPO, had refused to accept its governance structure, where a self-selecting group of senior managers control the majority of board appointments.
Early last year, when Hong Kong was preparing to allow dual-class share listings, Alibaba founder Jack Ma had said that the company would “seriously consider” a listing on its exchange.
Bloomberg had first reported the planned second listing.
(Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph and Aditi Sebastian in Bengaluru; Editing by Matthew Lewis, Rosalba O’Brien and Himani Sarkar)