Ant is set to raise almost $35 billion, beating Saudi Aramco’s $29 billion sale last year. The Shanghai stock priced at 68.8 yuan ($10.27) apiece and its Hong Kong
shares at HK$80 ($10.32) each. The company could raise another $5.2 billion if it exercises its green shoe options, taking its market value to about $320 billion. That would be more than JPMorgan Chase & Co. and four times bigger than Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
The big winners of the listing own their stakes through two limited partnerships registered in Hangzhou that together hold about 40% of Ant. Alibaba, in turn, has a third of the fintech firm. Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing, the family behind a French supermarket giant, the son of a Taiwanese real estate billionaire and Chinese retail tycoon Shen Guojun are among the other owners who have invested in the company over the year.
Ant began when Alibaba
launched the Alipay
payments app in 2004 as an escrow service for buyers and sellers on Ma’s e-commerce website. In 2013, they were given the ability to save money and earn interest on the balances stored on their accounts. The firm then started offering credit to small businesses, branching out from its consumer-finance focus, and eventually expanded to services such as block chain, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.
Since co-founding Alibaba
with Ma, Peng served in different roles. She set up Alibaba’s human-resources department and, after helping create Ant, was its chief executive officer until Jing took over in 2016. Two years later, he succeeded her as executive chairman of the fintech company.
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