File - Alibaba could be worth $152 billion, according to a survey by Reuters.
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As Alibaba prepares for what could be the biggest tech company IPO to date, the Chinese e-commerce giant has been counseling employees on how to deal with the roughly $41 billion they could unlock through a New York listing.In its IPO prospectus, Alibaba acknowledged its concerns about employee shareholders coming into newfound wealth, and maybe wanting to move on.These 28 people – 22 from Alibaba and six from related companies and affiliates – own a combined 14 percent of Alibaba, according to the company's filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission – worth over $21 billion.The largest previous sell-down was in 2011 when employees sold about $2 billion worth of stakes to investors including private equity firms DST Global and Silver Lake, according to a statement from those firms and the IPO filing.Other large shareholders include Silver Lake, DST Global and Singapore state investor Temasek.Employees will not be able to cash out of their holdings entirely through the IPO, as most employee stock is likely to be locked up for months, maybe years, people familiar with the listing process said.When Alibaba listed its Alibaba.com business-to-business unit in 2007, it was six months before stockholders could sell 40 percent of the shares held in an employee equity exchange program.
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