Ant’s pre-IPO fundraiser, dependent on investor feedback, is aimed at gaining size as it looks to expand in its home base as well as abroad.
As per sources familiar with the move, Ant Financial Services Group, a Chinese online payment firm, is planning on raising up to $5 billion in fresh equity. The move could value the Chinese giant at more than $100 billion.
In 2016, during its previous fundraiser, Ant Financial Services, owner of Alipay, was valued at nearly $60 billion. As per the sources, the new valuation round will start between $80 billion to $100 billion.
As per sources, Ant is currently in talks to appoint advisers for the fundraiser which is expected to be launched in the coming months.
Sources preferred the cover of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.
Ant declined to comment on its fundraising plans.
According to the sources, although a timetable for Ant’s IPO has yet to be set, nor a location chosen, its plans are being viewed as a pre-IPO fundraiser, an increasingly common move by Chinese companies who want to establish their valuations and widen their investor base before their going public.
It is not clear how Ant will use the fresh infusion of cash.
In January 2018, Ant suffered a setback when the U.S. government rejected its $1.2 billion deal to acquire MoneyGram International, a money transfer company, citing national security concerns.
Analysts consider Ant as one of the most valuable Alibaba assets due to its unique position in China’s e-commerce.
Ant’s current shareholders include state-owned institutions including China Post Group – parent of Postal Savings Bank of China, China Life Insurance and a unit of China Development Bank.