Ant is already more richly valued than most Wall Street firms and, if conditions are favourable, it could seek to raise more in its IPOs than Saudi Aramco’s record $29 billion haul
Billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Group is seeking a valuation north of $200 billion as it goes public in Hong Kong
and Shanghai, people familiar with the matter said, kicking off a much-anticipated market debut for China’s leader in internet finance.
The parent of China’s largest mobile payment company will pursue a simultaneous dual-listing in Hong Kong
and on the Shanghai
stock exchange’s STAR board, the Hangzhou-based firm said, in what promises to be one of the largest debuts in years. Ant is already more richly valued than most Wall Street firms and, if conditions are favourable, it could seek to raise more in its IPOs than Saudi Aramco’s record $29 billion haul, one of the people said, asking not to be identified talking about a private deal.
The crown jewel of the sprawling Alibaba
empire, Ant has been accelerating its evolution into an online mall for everything from loans and travel services to food delivery, in a bid to claw back shoppers lost to Tencent Holdings.
Ant’s Chief Executive Officer Simon Hu has said that he wants people to think of Alipay
as more than just a niche provider of financial services and the payments gateway for the world’s biggest e-commerce platform.
Part of that is to grow Ant’s reach in Asia, where it has been working with digital payment providers in India and Thailand as well as peddling its expertise in wealth management and risk controls. Ant picked China International
Capital, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley
for its Hong Kong
offering, which could raise about 10 billion, people familiar with the matter said.