Ant IPO pricing was determined on Friday, says Alibaba founder Jack Ma

Darnell Taylor
October 26, 2020

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba to which Ant Group is affiliated, said on Saturday that the price is likely to be the "world's largest", and it's the first time the pricing of a big tech company has been decided outside of NY.

Chinese tech firms, including NetEase and JD.Com, have already raised billions by selling their shares through the Hong Kong stock market. "It's the first time the pricing of such a big listing - the largest in human history - has been determined outside New York City", he told the Bund Summit in the eastern financial hub of Shanghai, referring to Ant's float as a "miracle".

Ant Group's Shanghai-listed shares will be priced at 68.8 yuan each. That would give Ant a valuation of about $320 billion, making it bigger than JPMorgan Chase & Co. and four times larger than Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Its shares are likely to start trading a few days after the November 3 US presidential election, sources have said.

The company will issue no more than 1.67 billion shares in China, equivalent to 5.5% of the total outstanding before the greenshoe, according to its prospectus on the Shanghai stock exchange.

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Mr Ma's Ant shares are reportedly worth about $17bn, taking his net worth to close to $80bn and confirming him as China's richest man.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which was co-founded by Ma and now owns about a third of Ant, has agreed to subscribe for 730 million of the Shanghai shares, which will be listed in Shanghai under the ticker "688688", according to the prospectus.

The Chinese company previously said that strategic investors have agreed to subscribe to 80% of the company's Shanghai-issued shares.

For the Hong Kong leg, Ant plans to open order books as soon as Monday and price the offering in coming days, separate sources have said.

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