When a company offers the sale of stock to the public for the first time, it’s called an IPO – an Initial Public Offering. This is a significant step that transforms a burgeoning firm into a major entity.
It’s interesting to note that, among the top five biggest IPOs of all time, three of them have occurred in China. The Top 5 are rounded out by one in Japan and one in the United States.
China’s Alibaba Group Holding Limited holds the record for the largest IPO ever. The company founded by Jack Ma went public on Sept. 18, 2014. It garnered a gigantic $21.8 billion. For comparison, the IPO of Facebook in 2012 was “just” $16 billion. That still ranks the Facebook offering as the 9th biggest of all time. Note that Alibaba’s IPO was extended four days later to make for a total of $25 billion.
The second-largest IPO belongs to the Agricultural Bank of China. It went public in April of 2010 and hauled in $19.2 billion. Like Alibaba, it also extended its sale and landed at $22.1 billion.
A Chinese entity rounds out the top three biggest IPOs of all time. In October of 2006, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China went public and raised just over $19 billion. It later took advantage of an over-allotment option and increased its IPO take to $22.9 billion.
An American company enters the list at the No. 4 spot. It’s General Motors Corporation, the auto giant. After declaring bankruptcy, GMC jump-started its new financial existence with an IPO that raised $20.1 billion. This IPO remains the largest of any American company.
We head back to the Far East for the fifth-largest IPO. This time it was the Japanese company NTT DOCOMO, a telecommunications company that raised $18.4 billion when it went public in October of 1998.
The American multinational financial services company, Visa, issued its IPO on May 18, 2008. It raised $17.9 billion to grab the No. 6 spot on the largest IPO list. Industry observers called it a remarkable performance considering that 2008 was a time of global financial crisis.
When a company offers the sale of stock to the public for the first time, it’s called an IPO – an Initial Public Offering.
The seventh-largest IPO of all time was that of AIA Group Limited, an insurance and investment agency headquartered in Hong Kong.