It’s official – Alibaba.com is no longer a public company starting from today. We learned the news from the Alizila, the group’s own blog which issued a blog post just a couple of hours ago. It’s not a huge deal though, as this was what everyone expected. But the final move to pull the plug away from being a public company passed somewhat quietly. Here are some excerpts from the post written by Jim Erickson explaining the silence:
Alibaba officials made no public statements to mark the privatization, in which parent Alibaba Group is paying $2.45 billion to vacuum up the 27 percent of Alibaba.com held by the public.
The silence surrounding today’s delisting of the shares underscores the role that oft-unrealistic public expectations and hype continues to play in driving the share price of internet companies (as if the recent Facebook IPO wasn’t evidence enough).
We weren’t sent any notification either.
Looking back, Alibaba.com came a long way. It was first listed in November 2007 which saw it raise $1.7 billion on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Growth has been pretty impressive as revenue more than doubled from RMB $3 billion to RMB $6.8 billion between 2008 and 2011. The move back to a private company saw Alibaba Group paying $2.45 billion — at $13.50 a share — to buy 27 percent of Alibaba.com from the public.
An excerpt of Alibaba Group founder and chairman Jack Ma’s email reads:
Just as the IPO was a starting point for Alibaba.com and not the finish line, privatization is not the end but rather a new beginning.
Exactly what this is beginning of, I’m not quite sure. But Alibaba.com has certainly one last stakeholder to account for, allowing it to focus more on growth rather than keeping investors happy.