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Ant Financial finalizes last round of financing before IPO
Last Updated: 2018-05-28 16:33 | chinadaily.com.cn
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Alibaba's financial arm Ant Financial Services Group has finalized the last round of private funding before its initial public offering on both Hong Kong and Chinese mainland A-share markets in one or two years, with a valuation of $150 billion, tech news portal All Weather TMT reported Saturday.

The fundraising will be completed mainly in the US dollar, which would be $9 billion,, which might be settled in early June, the outlet citing a source familiar with the matter said, adding the amount of RMB financing, which is expected to be closed at different time, was not clear.

Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC will inject the largest capital into Ant, and other lead investors include US private equity firm Warburg Pincus, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Singaporean state investment firm Temasek Holdings, All Weather TMT said.

At the same time, institutional investors such as Carlyle, General Atlantic, Silver Lake, Sequoia Capital China, BlackRock also participated in the financing, but no investor received a seat in Ant's board of directors.

From $5 billion reported funding target at the beginning of this year to $10 billion reported by the Financial Times last week, the fresh fundraising is based on invitation, and amid high demand, the final investor list resulted in around 10 companies in line with company's requirement -high-quality investors who could help Ant in its future strategy and development, All Weather TMT said in the report.

Other main requirement is not to invest in tech giant Tencent-controlled companies, which are a few, the source told the news outlet, and said that there is no limit on companies with Tencent's holdings.

As to the "pick a side" reported earlier by Wall Street Journal, the source did not think the claim was correct, because if Ant sets a strict line for these big institutional investors to pick a side, they will not accept it. The source said Ant aims to maintain a good cooperation with investors.

Ant Financial, owner of one of China's largest payment platforms -Alipay, was spun out of Alibaba in 2011, and runs other businesses like money market fund -Yu'e Bao and credit scoring -Sesame Credit. As a document to potential investors seen by the Financial Times showed, it claims to have 622 million users, 520 million of whom use Alipay, and manages 2.2 trillion yuan ($345 billion) worth of assets.

In the first quarter, the company became China's highest-valued unicorn firm, with a valuation of more than 400 billion yuan, as the Q1 Hurun Greater China Unicorn Index showed. And the reported $150 billion valuation would make Ant the most valuable unlisted tech company in the world, ahead of Uber.

In February, Alibaba announced its plan to buy a 33 percent stake of Ant Financial in exchange for intellectual property rights.

Last month, Lucy Peng stepped down as executive chairman of Ant Financial, and Eric Jing, CEO of the Alibaba affiliate, will take on the additional role of the executive chairman.

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