Ant Group Moves Ahead With $35B IPO After China’s OK

Ant Group has won the nod from China’s top security regulators for its Shanghai offering, the last hurdle to clear for what’s expected to be a $35 billion dual listing, Reuters reports.

Ant, the FinTech backed by China’s Alibaba Group, plans to list simultaneously in Hong Kong and Shanghai in the next few weeks, according to sources quoted by Reuters. The listing could be the largest initial public offering (IPO).

The previous record for the largest IPO was $29.4 billion for Saudi Aramco set last year.

In September, Shanghai regulators approved the listing. The Hong Kong sale is being managed China International Capital Corp.Citigroup, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley.

The Ant Group listing would be the first to be on both the new STAR Market in Shanghai and in Hong Kong. The share will be split evenly between them, with up to 1.67 billion sold on each, which would be 11 percent of its enlarged share capital before a 15 percent greenshoe or over-allotment option is utilized.

The FinTech will be having price negotiations on Oct. 23, aiming to set the price by Oct. 27, Reuters writes.

Strategic investors who agreed to adopt a 12-month lock-up on investments in the STAR IPO will add up to 80 percent of the domestic float, including Alibaba unit Zhejiang Tmall Technology, which has agreed to purchase 730 million shares, according to Reuters.

The proceeds will partially go toward Ant’s digital economy business and boost capabilities for research and development, Reuters writes.

In the nine months to September, Ant, which is China’s biggest mobile payments company, had an operating income of 118.2 billion yuan. It was a 42.6 percent jump from 2019, Reuters reports.

Ant runs the Alipay payments app and attains most of its earnings from consumer loans. The company is also known for operating money market funds, selling insurance and providing credit scores and tech services for companies operating in the industry. The company has 731 million users per month.