Ant Group, a Chinese fintech founded by billionaire Jack Ma, has announced its intention to pursue dual public offerings in Shanghai in Hong Kong.
If the deal is agreed, the $200 billion valuation could be one of the largest public offerings in history, according to sources who spoke to Bloomberg.
The Hangzhou-based Group, and owner of fintech platform Alipay, is one of the most valuable unicorns in the world, valued at $150 billion.
In a statement, the company said that the listings will “help the company accelerate its goal of digitising the service industry in China”, as well as position the company “to develop global markets with partners and expand investment in technology and innovation.”
Eric Jing, Executive Chairman of Ant Group, commented: “The innovative measures implemented by SSE STAR market and the SEHK have opened the doors for global investors to access leading edge technology companies from the most dynamic economies in the world and for those companies to have greater access to the capital markets. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to play a part in this development.
“Becoming a public company will enhance transparency to our stakeholders, including customers, business partners, employees, shareholders and regulators.
“Through our commitment to serving the under-served, we make it possible for the whole of society to share our growth,” Mr. Jing said.
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The Ant Group was founded in 2014 and became well-known with its popular mobile wallet app Alipay. The app has around 900 million users in China – around 70% of the population.
Ma formerly worked as an English teacher before founding the Alibaba group, now one of the world’s largest e-commerce groups. The Ant Group was spun out of Alibaba after the company separated Alipay from the rest of the company to comply with regulations in China.
Ma also has large investments outside of Alibaba which include stakes in Chinese entertainment industry firms Huayi Brothers and Beijing Enlight Media.