Becoming an IPO or an Initial Public Offering is one of the most important stages in a company’s life. And while this is one of the phases that a business can undergo, not all companies can reach this level of success.
Most businesses start as private companies owned by a select few executives. However, as sales continue to grow and the need to expand operations arise, the bigger the money that comes in and out is.
When a business reaches this point when the finances and cash flows cannot be handled solely through internal means, the wise decision is to open up the doors of the company to public investors to ensure that the growth of the business continues until the foreseeable future.
Of course, managing a business that can venture into IPO status is not all that easy. Since more stakeholders are involved in the discussions, running an IPO takes more patience and care to cultivate it into a sustainable business that can keep its investors happy and its operations running.
Becoming an IPO is a standard of success in itself; however, being able to make a popular IPO that is financially stable is definitely on another level. While it’s true that in the world of business, things can be unpredictable, one can more or less gauge how an IPO would turn out based on several factors.
These factors can range from the organization's culture to the company’s history in terms of decision-making. The truth of the matter is some IPOs have an edge over the rest. Here are some of the largest and most successful IPOs in history.
20. Uber Technologies
The ride-sharing services company Uber Technologies raised $8.1 billion when it made its company public as an IPO. The public listing of Uber was completed on the New York Stock Exchange on May 2019. The starting price of the company’s IPO was valued at an estimated $45 share price. As of the moment, Uber Technologies is still in the process of exceeding the standards and expectations set for it.
19. Japan Tobacco
The cigarette manufacturing company Japan Tobacco Inc. — or commonly referred to as ‘JT’ for short — was able to raise a capital of $9.58 billion when it became an IPO in October 1994 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Since then, JT has had major movements in its operations, such as a significant portion of it being owned by the Japanese Ministry of Finance and soon after having a portion of the same government-owned share sold off in order to fund the reconstruction efforts during the aftermath of the 2011 disasters that rocked the nation.
18. Bank of China
In 2006, the Bank of China’s Hong Kong operations made the headlines thanks to its blockbuster IPO listed in the Hong Kong Exchange, which was able to raise a total capital of $9.7 billion — an amount which to date still ranks among China’s largest IPO deals.
The initial share price was set at around 38 cents. As expected, the announcement of the Bank of China’s IPO in the country was received positively by investors at the time.
In May 2011, the Swiss mining and commodity trading company Glencore was publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange with the total capital raised during the company’s initial public offering being valued at around $10.05 billion. Not only was the IPO setting a record-breaker in terms of value raised, but also company information which was kept secret for almost 40 years, was also made public as per the conditions of the IPO.
16. Rosneft Oil Company
The Rosneft Oil Company went on record as one of the largest Russian IPOs in 2006 when it was able to raise a grand total of $10.4 billion when it was publicly listed in the Russian Trading System. The energy company finalized its share price value at around $7.55 per share.
At the time, not only did Rosneft become the largest IPO in Russia, but the billions of dollars of capital it raised made it the fifth-largest in the world at the time.
15. AT&T Wireless Group
The IPO announcement of the wireless sector of the telecom giant AT&T Corporation — also known as the AT&T Wireless Group — made the headlines for being one of the largest IPOs at the time. Listed in the New York Stock Exchange after raising funds that totaled over $10.6 billion, the AT&T Wireless Group. Since then, the progress of the company’s growth has been slow and steady.
14. LG Energy Solutions
The South Korean battery company LG Energy Solutions raised the eyebrows of investors when it became an IPO on January 2022 — making it not only one of the largest IPOs in the world but in the entire South Korean region as well.
Formalizing its public listing on the Korea Exchange, LG Energy Solutions was able to raise over $10.73 billion when it first became public. The company’s primary motivation in becoming an IPO was to raise funds aimed at increasing the efficiency of its production capacities.
13. Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance
One of the largest insurers in Japan, Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance, was well on its way to becoming one of the top companies worldwide. However, when the company announced that it would be an IPO in 2008, even more records were broken. In fact, Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance even became one of the largest Japan-based IPOs when it was first listed publicly. The company was able to raise $10.98 billion during the period of its IPO announcement.
12. Rivian Automotive
In 2021, the electric vehicle maker Rivian Automotive went on record for having one of the largest IPOs to date, with the funds raised reaching upwards of $11.9 billion when all was said and done. Listed on the Nasdaq, Rivian was able to price its IPO shares to around $78 per share when the company officially went public.
Investors are definitely placing their trust in the electric vehicle manufacturer as it continues to make its presence known in the growing industry.
11. Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom is a German telecom business that already has a significant presence in the European market. In most cases, the company is labeled as the largest telecom provider in the entire continent of Europe. Deutsche Telekom went to even greater heights when it disclosed its IPO way back in 1996 for a staggering amount of $13.2 billion.
The huge demand from investors was one of the key motivators for Deutsche Telekom to become an IPO.
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China — abbreviated to ICBC — is yet another huge IPO that was able to raise billions of dollars in funds when it was listed publicly on the Hong Kong Exchange. The amount of capital raised when the company created its IPO listing is estimated to be around $14 billion.
Since then, the financial services company has branched out its operations and efforts to different regions across the world.
9. General Motors
The American automobile company General Motors was able to raise a conservative funding amount of $15.77 billion when it first went public way back in 2010 — making it one of the largest IPOs in the United States at the time.
This feat is even more impressive considering the fact that the company was on the brink of losing it all after it filed for bankruptcy just a year before it was listed publicly on the New York Stock Exchange.
Formerly known as the blockbuster social media website Facebook, Meta is perhaps the largest presence on the Internet today. However, as far back as 2012, the company had already accomplished huge feats — namely, being able to raise a grand amount of $16 billion when it went public.
While the opening of Meta to the public was met with trading issues and the like, the company bounced back from its rocky start to become a dominating player in the market.
7. Enel S.p.A.
The public listing of the Italian utility company Enel S.p.A. in 1999 was a game-changer in the business world back then. Investors near and far all wanted to stake their claim in the multinational electricity and gas distributor when it was publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
The result of this venture was funding raised to a total of around $16.4 billion. While there was a short decline in investor interest just before the company went public, the total amount raised still put Enel on the list of the largest IPOs in history.
6. AIA Group
The AIA Group, a multinational insurance company that specializes in a number of financial services, went on the record as being one of the largest IPOs to go public worldwide. When the AI Group was listed on the Hong Kong Exchange in 2010, the company was able to raise an impressive $17.9 billion.
When it officially became an IPO, the AIA Group became the largest insurance group in the entire Asian continent at the time.
Visa Inc. is known all over the world as a company that specializes in the processing of debit and credit transactions. However, the presence of Visa in the market became more dominant than ever when it went public by listing on the New York Stock Exchange to the tune of $17.98 billion in capital raised. At the time of the public listing, shares were being sold for $44 each.
4. NTT Mobile Communication Network
The NTT Mobile Communication Network, otherwise known as just NTT Com, is a telecom based in Japan that currently serves around 70 countries worldwide. To date, the company is still holding its place in the telecom industry as one of the strongest and high-growing competitors out there.
In 1998, NTT Com reached even greater heights when it became an IPO with capital raised amounting to $18.4 billion when it was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Eventfully enough, the move was initially announced during the heat of the Asian financial crisis which happened a year prior.
When NTT Com’s IPO filing was finally processed, the company sat in a very comfortable position of controlling around 57% of the entire Japanese mobile market.
The Japanese conglomerate SoftBank goes on record as being one of the world’s largest IPOs to date after it publicly filed its bid on the Tokyo Stock Exchange after it was able to raise capital that amounted to $21 billion — making the company the first on this list to surpass the $20 billion mark.
While the name implies that the company is a bank, SoftBank actually specializes in investment management and providing communication services. The IPO listing of the company was finalized in 2018 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Another known company to make this list is the technology giant Alibaba. Founded by the entrepreneurial guru Jack Ma, Alibaba is a globally renowned online marketplace that continues to make its dominating presence felt in the industry up to today.
Moreover, the already-established multinational corporation reached even greater heights when it started trading on the New York Stock Exchange way back in 2014, where it was able to raise capital that amounted to a whopping $21.8 billion.
With the strong demand and investor interest that the company attracted when news of its public listing made the headlines, it’s without a doubt that Alibaba is a superstar in the industry that has been a strong presence before and continues to be a strong presence now.
Some of the known businesses under the umbrella of the Alibaba brand include AliExpress (an e-commerce company similar in nature to that of Amazon and eBay), Youku (a China-based video hosting platform), and Freshippo (a retail chain).
1. Saudi Aramco
And without further ado, the company that tops the list as the largest IPO in the world today is none other than the Saudi Arabian Oil Group — more known as Saudi Aramco. Dealing primarily in the petroleum and natural gas sectors, Saudi Aramco’s powerful presence in the industry has helped the institution break many records.
However, one of its biggest accomplishments is filing for the largest IPO in the world after it was able to raise a jaw-dropping $25.6 billion worth of capital in 2019 at the Saudi Stock Exchange.
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