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Some global investors skip Ant’s buyback after valuation slumps 70% – Bloomberg News

Some global investors skip Ant’s buyback after valuation slumps 70% – Bloomberg News

On August 7th, according to a report by Reuters, a noteworthy development emerged regarding Ant Group’s proposed share buyback. A multitude of global investors have decided to abstain from participating in this buyback initiative, following a substantial reduction of over 70% in the Chinese fintech company’s valuation. This drastic markdown in valuation has raised concerns among investors, prompting some to rethink their involvement in the share buyback program.

Among the investors opting out of the buyback are prominent names such as Warburg Pincus, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Carlyle Group, and GIC Pte. These decisions were cited by Bloomberg News and were based on insights from individuals familiar with the situation. On the flip side, a handful of money managers, including well-known firms like Fidelity Investments and T. Rowe Price Group, have chosen to offload their shares, signaling their willingness to divest from Ant Group.

This situation arises from Ant Group’s unexpected announcement in July about a share buyback plan encompassing up to 7.6% of its equity interest. However, the valuation assigned to this endeavor is considerably lower, with the proposed price reflecting an aggregate valuation of approximately 567.1 billion yuan ($78.68 billion). This valuation stands in stark contrast to the staggering $315 billion valuation the company commanded in 2020 when it was poised to launch the largest Initial Public Offering (IPO) globally, a plan that was ultimately thwarted by Chinese regulatory intervention at the eleventh hour.

It’s noteworthy that several global investors, including the aforementioned Warburg Pincus, GIC, and Carlyle Group, had originally invested in Ant Group during its fundraising round in 2018. Back then, the valuation of the company was pegged at $150 billion. However, the cancellation of the highly anticipated IPO and the subsequent regulatory-driven overhaul of Ant’s business model compelled some of these investors to revise their perception of the company’s worth. Fidelity Investments, for example, revised its valuation to $68 billion around mid-2021, in line with this evolving landscape.

Despite the extensive shifts in valuation and investor sentiment, the involved parties have largely remained tight-lipped. Ant Group, Carlyle Group, CPPIB, Warburg Pincus, GIC, and T. Rowe Price Group have chosen not to comment on the matter when approached by Reuters. Similarly, Fidelity Investments has not yet responded to queries regarding its stance on the share buyback.

In the realm of international currency exchange, it’s important to note that the value of 1 Chinese yuan renminbi is equivalent to approximately $0.139.

the landscape surrounding Ant Group’s proposed share buyback has been marked by a substantial reduction in valuation, which has influenced the decisions of global investors, leading some to opt out of the initiative while others choose to sell their shares. This intricate situation is a result of the intricate interplay between Ant Group’s IPO cancellation, regulatory changes, and the evolving perceptions of its value in the eyes of investors.


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