Report: Alibaba to Let Employees Buy Shares in IPO


Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd <IPO-BABA.N> will allow employees and people close to the company to buy shares in its forthcoming initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

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The program, informally known as a "friends and family" plan, allows employees and people buy shares at the IPO price before it starts trading publicly. Normally, the IPO price is available only to professional investors and a few individual investors.

Such programs were a popular practice by U.S. companies during the 1999-2000 boom as a way to reward employees but has declined since then, the newspaper said. (

Alibaba is nearing the launch of its hotly anticipated offering, which could raise more than $20 billion, making it the biggest technology listing in the United States.