Ant Group plans restructuring, paving way for Hong Kong IPO: report

Jack Ma-backed Ant Group is planning a restructuring that will break off some non-core operations of its China financial-related business, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Alibaba Group affiliate is looking at excluding its blockchain, database management services and international businesses from a main entity that will be used to apply for a financial holding license in China, the report said.

Once the restructuring is complete and Ant secures the license, it can prepare for a public listing in Hong Kong instead of reviving the dual Shanghai-Hong Kong listing plan that was suspended by Chinese authorities in 2020, Bloomberg said.

Ant Group declined to comment on the report, while Alibaba did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Earlier this month, Ant Group announced a surprise share buyback that valued the fintech giant at $78.54 billion, well below the $315 billion touted in the suspended IPO.

Alibaba said it would not participate in the buyback but would maintain its shareholding in Ant.

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However, some Chinese state-owned firms that took part in Ant’s earlier funding rounds are planning to participate in the buyback and shareholders have until early August to make a decision, Bloomberg reported.

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