Alipay-parent Ant Group began formal preparations for a long-speculated IPO of its business, a move the China-headquartered company’s chairman believes will provide greater transparency of the business to partners and regulators.
Ant Group, formerly known as Ant Financial, announced it began the process of a dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong, though declined to provide details of a timeline or the anticipated value of the stake being made publicly available.
The company said the listing would help accelerate its “goal of digitising the service industry in China and driving domestic demand”, while also positioning it “to develop global markets with partners and expand investment in technology and innovation”.
Ant Group executive chairman Eric Jing added: “Becoming a public company will enhance transparency to our stakeholders, including customers, business partners, employees, shareholders and regulators.”
The comments come as a number of prominent Chinese companies find themselves under the microscope in major markets including the US and UK over security worries and close ties to authorities in their home market.
Ant Group, under its former brand, was not immune to this sentiment, with attempts to acquire US remittance company MoneyGram for $1.2 billion abandoned after running into problems getting the deal through US foreign investment authorities.
Rumours of the imminent IPO have regularly appeared in the financial media, with the process originally widely expected to take place in 2018, though at the time Financial Times reported it was being postponed due to uncertainty around the business itself and regulatory concerns.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back