Jack Ma to relinquish control of Ant Group


Chinese billionaire Jack Ma will no longer control Ant Group after the fintech giant’s shareholders agreed to change its shareholding structure, according to a statement released by the company on Saturday.

After the adjustment, Ma’s voting rights will drop to 6.2 percent, according to CNN’s statement and calculations.

Before the restructuring, Ma held 50.52 percent of the voting rights in Ant through Hangzhou Yunbo and two other companies, according to its IPO prospectus filed with stock exchanges in 2020.

Ant added in the statement that the adjustment to voting rights, a move to make the company’s shareholder structure “more transparent and diversified”, would not result in a change in the economic interests of any shareholder.

Ant said its 10 major shareholders, including Ma, have agreed no longer to act in concert when exercising their voting rights and will only vote independently and thus no single shareholder will have “sole or joint control of Ant Group’.

The review of voting rights came after Chinese regulators halted Ant’s $37 billion IPO in November 2020 and ordered the company to restructure its business.

As part of the company’s restructuring, Ant’s consumer finance unit applied to expand its registered capital from $1.2 billion to $2.7 billion. The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission recently approved the application, according to a government announcement issued late last week.

After the fundraising campaign, Ant will control half of its key consumer finance unit, while an enterprise controlled by the Hangzhou city government will hold a 10% stake. Hangzhou is where Alibaba and Ant have been headquartered since their inception.

Ant Group is a fintech affiliate of Alibaba, both founded by Ma.

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