Chinese Celebrity-Backed Fintech Firm Is Said to Pick IPO Banks

  • Quant selects JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley to advise on U.S. deal
  • Beijing firm filed confidentially for offering this month

Quant, a financial technology firm backed by Chinese movie stars, has picked JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley to advise on a planned U.S. initial public offering that could raise about $200 million, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Beijing-based Quant filed confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this month, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The company, which generates credit ratings and facilitates loans, plans to start gauging interest from potential investors in September, said the people.

Quant is among Chinese fintech firms seeking funds in the U.S. equity market as consumers in the world’s most populous nation increasingly turn to non-traditional lenders. Fenqile, a Shenzhen-based online shopping mall that lets buyers pay in installments, picked banks to work on a planned IPO that could raise about $600 million, people with knowledge of the matter said in March.

First-time share sales from Chinese companies raised $2.1 billion in the U.S. over the past 12 months, four times the volume during the previous period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Quant reported $15.7 million profit in 2016 after a loss of $2.6 million during the previous year, according to preliminary offering documents seen by Bloomberg. The company facilitated 5.1 billion yuan ($767 million) of loans last year, compared with just 193.7 million yuan in 2015, the documents show.

The size and timeline of the offering may change, the people said. Representatives for Quant and Morgan Stanley said they couldn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokeswoman for JPMorgan declined to comment.

Backers of Quant include Star VC, the investment firm started by a group of Chinese celebrities. Li Bingbing, an actress who appeared in “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” and “Ip Man 2” actor Huang Xiaoming are among partners at Star VC, according to the website of fellow portfolio company Handu.com.

Other investors include Guosen Securities Co. and billionaire Guo Guangchang’s Fosun International Ltd. Quant operates xyqb.com, which generates credit ratings using consumer information.

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