When Alibaba reveals its prospectus for what could rival the largest initial public offering by a private company to date, one page will reflect the behind-the-scenes jockeying that advisers have engaged in while preparing to list China’s ecommerce giant.
People involved in the process said five global banks would be displayed prominently in alphabetical order – Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley.
Citigroup’s position just behind those names will reflect its smaller role in the preparations and the smaller share it is set to earn of what could be one of the largest paydays from an IPO, these people said.
The six banks will split as much as $400m in fees if the IPO is executed smoothly and Alibaba raises a target of about $20bn.
Alibaba’s prospectus is expected to be filed imminently, people familiar with the matter said. The company is seeking to raise anywhere between $15bn and $25bn at a valuation as high as $200bn, the FT has previously reported. The IPO pricing and market debut is expected sometime in the second half of this year.
The plan to reward most of the banks equally reflects efforts behind the scenes by senior Alibaba executives, including vice-chairman Joe Tsai, to keep the focus of the public offering on the company itself.
Lessons learnt from other high-profile technology listings such as the $16.1bn Facebook IPO in 2012 have led Alibaba executives to emphasise this point at meetings in Hong Kong with the lead banks in late March and early April, according to several people in attendance.
In those meetings a variety of tasks, which are typically assigned to the lead bookrunner on an IPO, were sliced and diced to keep all the banks involved in the preparations.
Aside from bankers, other advisers working on the deal include the law firms Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Sullivan & Cromwell, where Mr Tsai once worked in its tax group.
The six banks declined to comment.
知情人士表示，五家全球银行将按照字母顺序放在显眼的位置上。这五家银行是：瑞士信贷(Credit Suisse)、德意志银行(Deutsche Bank)、高盛集团(Goldman Sachs)、摩根大通(JPMorgan Chase)和摩根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)。
除了众多银行家，其他参与这一交易的顾问公司包括盛信律师事务所(Simpson Thacher & Bartlett)和苏利文与克伦威尔律师事务所(Sullivan & Cromwell)。其中，蔡崇信曾在后者的税务团队中工作过。