Alibaba Group Holding is reportedly in negotiations with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to find "creative" ways for the company to list on the bourse while allowing founder Jack Ma and his management to maintain a certain level of control of the company.
The problem for Ma is that Hong Kong doesn't allow the type of dual-class structure that would permit Alibaba to issue management with shares that have more voting rights than those that would be sold in an IPO.
In New York - which Alibaba is also considering for its listing - the NYSE and Nasdaq do allow such a structure, a feature that has enabled Mark Zuckerberg to retain control of Facebook. Google and Manchester United have also taken advantage of such rules.
An Alibaba IPO could value the company at around $70B. That would make Yahoo's (YHOO) 24% stake worth $16.8B, or equivalent to 60% of the U.S. Internet portal's market cap of $27.88B.