November 25, 2020

Ant Group final approvals for its massive Hong Kong, Shanghai IPO


The Ant Group Co. logo and the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. logo are displayed behind a reception desk at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China, on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

GUANGZHOU, China — Ant Group has cleared the final regulatory hurdle for its massive initial public offering (IPO) with the pricing of its shares slated to be released within the next week.

On Wednesday, the China Securities Regulatory Commission gave the green light for Ant Group’s dual Shanghai and Hong Kong listing to go ahead. That came after the Hong Kong stock exchange also gave its approval for the offshore portion of the listing.

The Chinese financial technology giant, which is 33% owned by Alibaba and controlled by founder Jack Ma, also updated its IPO prospectus with information on the share structure.

It will split its stock issuance equally across Shanghai and Hong Kong, issuing 1.67 billion shares in each location. That amounts to 11% of its total outstanding shares post-IPO. The number of shares could increase if the so-called overallotment option is exercised, depending on demand.

Ant Group will now proceed with a roadshow to market the IPO to investors and will price the shares on Oct. 27.

Strategic investors have agreed to subscribe to 80% of the company’s Shanghai-issued A shares. Alibaba, via it subsidiary Zhejiang Tmall Technology, has agreed to buy 730 million A shares. This will allow Alibaba to maintain its roughly 33% stake in Ant Group.

Ant Group also released some updated financial figures for the first nine months of 2020. It says monthly active users of its Alipay mobile payments app has increased from 711 million in June to 731 million in September.

Revenue was 118.19 billion yuan ($17.73 billion), a more than 42% year-on-year rise.

Ant Group’s listing could be one of the biggest of all time. Reuters has previously reported the listing could raise up to $35 billion. One analyst previously told CNBC that Ant’s valuation could exceed $200 billion.



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