The plan calls for putting all of Ant’s businesses into the holding company, including its technology offerings in areas such as blockchain and food delivery, people familiar with the matter said. One of Ant’s early proposals to regulators had
An official announcement on the overhaul could come before the start of China’s Lunar New Year holiday next week, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information.
Some market participants had been speculating Ant might be forced to spin off portions of its business, which now looks unlikely, said Shujin Chen, Hong Kong-based head of China financial research at Jefferies Financial Group Inc.
Ant’s restructuring plan marks the first big step in what’s expected to be a lengthy overhaul process, as regulators draw up detailed capital requirements and other guidelines for companies that span multiple financial business lines.
Ant is still exploring possibilities to revive its initial public offering, which was abruptly halted by regulators in November, one person familiar with the matter said. But given the financial holding company framework is so new, it’s unclear how long it might take for authorities to sign off on a listing.
Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Francis Chan estimates Ant’s valuation could drop to $108 billion. Ant fetched a $280 billion pre-money valuation before its IPO was halted.