Joined Nov 11, 2007
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Alibaba.com Said to Be Taking the Company Private

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (ALIBABZ) plans to privatize its Alibaba.com Ltd. (1688) unit in a deal that may value the Hong Kong-listed company at as much as $8.7 billion, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

China’s biggest e-commerce company, which owns more than 72 percent of Alibaba.com, may offer a price close to the HK$13.50 a share at which the stock was sold in a 2007 initial public offering, one person said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. That’s 55 percent above Alibaba.com’ 20-day moving averagethrough Feb. 8, after which its shares were suspended.

At the IPO price, buying the 28 percent it doesn’t already own will cost Alibaba Group about $2.4 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. John Spelich, a Hong Kong-based spokesman for Alibaba Group, declined to comment.

Hong Kong Economic Times reported yesterday that Alibaba Group may offer HK$13.50 a share, citing people it didn’t identify.

The privatization is being planned with Alibaba.com’s shares down 44 percent in the 12 months before trading was halted. The IPO was priced a day before the Hang Seng Index climbed to a record on Oct. 30, 2007. Since then, the index has dropped 32 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg….”

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