Alibaba is racing against the clock to complete its landmark initial public offering within the next month, according to several people familiar with its plans.
However, the self-imposed deadline is in danger of slipping as the company gets close to the moment when it will have to decide whether to go ahead with an international marketing trip involving its top executives, two of these people said.
The New York listing by the Chinese ecommerce company is widely expected to be one of the largest ever, raising about $20 billion. The largest listing to date is Agricultural Bank of China's $22.1 billion deal from July 2010.
Alibaba still hopes to begin a marketing trip for the deal, known as a roadshow, as early as July 21. The trip would probably take in investors in at least the US and Hong Kong and would involve several members of the company's top leadership, according to people familiar with the plans.
That would make it possible for Alibaba to hit its preferred date for the IPO, with the shares being officially priced late on August 7 and starting to trade on the New York Stock Exchange the day after.