Jack Ma plans to cede control of fintech giant Ant Group

01.08.2022 | 11:36 Home / News / Fintech /
#Jack Ma #Ant Group
Chinese billionaire Jack Ma plans to cede control of his fintech giant Ant Group, according to a Wall Street Journal report, Russian Forbes writes.

The Journal said citing unnamed sources that Ma could cede control by transferring some of his voting power to Ant officials including Chief Executive Eric Jing. The 57-year-old tycoon currently holds no executive role at Ant or a seat on its board but controls 50.52% of its shares through a private entity, where he is a majority shareholder.

Ma has intended to give up control of Ant for quite some time, According to WSJ sources. Previously, he did not execute that plan as he didn’t want to delay the company’s plans for an initial public offering (IPO).

In November 2020, Ant Group planned to hold the largest listing in the history of IPO, which would value at $34,5 billion. However, the Chinese authorities halted Ant’s IPO at the last moment, telling Ant Group to “go back to its roots” as a simple payment provider.  

In April 2021, Ant Group agreed to reorganize as a financial holding company regulated by China’s central bank.

Ant has informed regulators of Ma’s intention as it prepares to restructure into a financial holding company.

A change in control at Ant could slow plans to seek a public listing, the Journal reported, as China’s domestic A-share market requires companies to wait three years after a change in control to list. The wait is two years on Shanghai’s STAR market, and one year in Hong Kong.

But Ant Group is in no rush to try an IPO again and intends to keep options open, and may consider other moves, including spinning off subsidiaries and letting them go public on their own.

Earlier, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter that the Chinese financial regulators have started early-stage discussions on a potential revival of Ant Group’s initial public offering. The China Securities Regulatory Commission has established a team to reassess Ant’s share sale plans and is also nearing the final stages of issuing Ant a long-awaited license that would clear the path for an IPO and make the company regulated more like a bank.

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