T Rowe Price Group Inc, UBS Asset Management and FMR LLC, the parent of Fidelity Investments, are among the money managers angling for a piece of Ant Group Co’s blockbuster initial public offering, a person familiar with the matter said.
Each of the firms is considering investments worth several billion dollars in Ant’s Hong Kong-listed shares, though they’ve yet to finalise plans and there’s no guarantee they’ll get an allocation, the person said, asking not to be identified discussing private information.
Ant is expected to start taking orders for the Hong Kong portion of its dual listing on October 26 and price shares as soon as October 29, people familiar with the matter said.
The company may raise about $35bn in Hong Kong and Shanghai combined, plus another $5bn after it exercises so-called greenshoe options, the people said, adding that the numbers and timeline are subject to change.
That would give Ant a valuation of around $320bn, making it bigger than JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Ant, T Rowe Price and UBS Asset declined to comment. FMR didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request.
Jack Ma’s Chinese fintech giant is one of the most hotly anticipated IPOs in years, on course to make history by surpassing Saudi Aramco’s record $29bn share sale in 2019.
Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte, Temasek Holdings Pte and China’s $318bn National Council for Social Security Fund are also jockeying for a slice of the deal, people familiar with the matter said earlier this month, as are myriad other investment firms and thousands of mom-and-pop traders in China and Hong Kong. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd will also buy new Ant shares to maintain its ownership stake at around 32%.
Ant will price the Shanghai portion of its listing on October 27 and allow subscriptions on October 29, it said in a prospectus published on Wednesday.
That means investors will have to commit to the deal just days before a US presidential election that could have ramifications for both Ant’s overseas expansion plans and investor risk-appetite generally. Shares will almost certainly start trading only after the US vote on November 3.
Ant has recently added CCB International as a joint global coordinator for the IPO in Hong Kong, a person familiar said.
The deal will have eight joint book runners, including recent addition Mizuho Financial Group Inc, the person said.
Mizuho declined to comment and CCB didn’t immediately reply to an e-mailed request.
Ant has picked China International Capital Corp and CSC Financial Co to lead its Shanghai leg of the IPO. CICC, Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley are heading the Hong Kong offering.
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