Jack Ma divests control of Ant Group as part of corporate restructuring
Chinese billionaire Jack Ma will cede control of fintech giant Ant Group as part of a restructuring, the company announced on Saturday.
“No shareholder, alone or jointly with other parties, will have control of Ant Group (after completion of the adjustment), the company said in a statement.
“The adjustment is being implemented to further improve the stability of our business structure and the sustainability of our long-term development.”
The statement exposed the company’s previous complex structure which showed that Ma “indirectly” controlled 53.46% of Ant Group’s shares.
“As a result, Mr. Jack Ma (was) considered the controlling person of Ant Group prior to the adjustment,” he said.
Beijing has targeted big tech companies in recent years and in 2020 withdrew Ant’s planned initial public offering in Hong Kong at the last minute. The list would have been a world record at the time.
Authorities also hit Alibaba, which Ma co-founded and previously ran, with a record $2.75 billion (about Rs 22,600 crore) fine for alleged unfair practices.
Regulators announced this week that Ant had secured approval to raise 10.5 billion yuan (about Rs. 12,300 crore) for its consumer finance arm, in a further sign that authorities may be loosening their grip on the market. ‘business.
Ma continues to hold voting rights in an entity that controls Ant, along with nine Ant executives and employees who were also granted voting rights. Together, they jointly control the company, the statement said.
Ma only has a 10% stake in Ant, a subsidiary of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding.
He would have exercised control over the company through related entities, according to Ant’s initial public offering prospectus (IPO) filed with stock exchanges in 2020.
Ma has mostly disappeared from public view since giving a speech criticizing regulators on the eve of the cancellation of the Ant listing in 2020.
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