News: Exclusive: Global investors value China’s Ant Group at over $200 billion – sources.
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Some of Ant Group’s global investors have valued the Chinese fintech company at over $ 200 billion based on its performance in 2020.
The figure is at least a third above Ant’s rating after its last fundraiser in 2018 when it emerged as the most valuable unlisted tech company in the world, but it is well below the $ 315 billion it’s slated for what is expected to be its largest IPO announced to the world.
Investor hopes of a massive slump were dashed when regulatory scrutiny wrecked the $ 37 billion IPO days prior to Ant listing in November. The reorganization mandated by regulators has since made their internal analysis a little more conservative.
Investors’ revised estimates of how Ant is valued that will determine its return are published here for the first time.
Warburg Pincus LLC valued Ant at a little over $ 200 billion at year-end based on 2020 earnings and comparable company research, one respondent said. The U.S. private equity firm sold a portion of its stake worth $ 190 billion in a private deal in early 2020, other sources said.
Another investor said his estimate, based on Ant’s latest financial figures, was not very different from Warburg’s.
Warburg declined to comment on Ant’s valuation and did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the share trading.
Ant’s valuation and revised listing schedule are unclear as the subsidiary of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has not yet finalized its restructuring plan.
Still, the business was barely affected by official controls from October to December, said one of the respondents who refused to be classified as private.
Ant declined to comment.
The Hangzhou-based fintech giant is shifting its corporate structure to that of a financial holding company after exerting regulatory pressure to impose rules and capital requirements similar to those for banks.
As a result, Ant’s valuation could suffer, analysts have said, given that tech companies are much higher than financial companies.
Ant was recognized as a tech company in its previous fundraiser in 2018 when it raised $ 14 billion, valued at roughly $ 150 billion for the world’s largest single fundraiser.
Investors included the private equity firms Warburg, Carlyle Group Inc, General Atlantic and Silver Lake Partners LP as well as the Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd and the existing shareholders Boyu Capital and Primavera Capital Group.
On IPO pricing, Ant’s valuation rose to around $ 315 billion, or more than 31 times projected net income for 2021.
With the impact of the restructuring on profits unknown, one investor said he is now valuing Ant at roughly the same level as the 2018 fundraising. Another said it valued its ant investment at cost, which means it doesn’t see any return on the business for the time being.
Reporting by Julie Zhu and Kane Wu; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Christopher Cushing
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