Alibaba’s payments arm has announced its IPO

Alibaba’s payments arm Ant Group, which has most recently been valued at $150 billion, has announced its long-awaited public offering with a dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Ant, which was founded by Jack Ma, has grown into China’s dominant mobile payments company with 900 million annual users. But it has also run into regulatory concerns about its outsized role in the financial sector and about its profitability… The company did not provide a timeline for its listing or say how much money it wants to raise… A listing of even a small portion of its shares would represent one of the biggest IPOs of an Asian company… Ant said it would pursue a dual listing both in Hong Kong and on Shanghai’s one-year-old Star board, an exchange focused on technology that China hopes will rival Nasdaq. The company was last valued at $150 billion in mid-2018 after raising around $14 billion from investors including Temasek, General Atlantic, Warburg Pincus and Baillie Gifford. In recent transactions in secondary markets, small blocks of shares have changed hands at levels that imply a valuation of upwards of $200 billion… PayPal, the US fintech company is valued at $204 billion. Ant has recently changed its name from Ant Financial to Ant Group, and has repeatedly stressed that it is a technology company, rather than a financial one. 

Ryan McMorrow, Henny Sender and Mercedes Ruehl