ZhongAn Online Sets Terms for Up to $1.5 Billion IPO

  • Billionaire-backed insurer to seek up to $11 billion valuation
  • ZhongAn pursues Hong Kong’s first major fintech listing

ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co. has set tentative terms for a Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise as much as $1.5 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said, as it pursues the city’s first major fintech listing.

The company, backed by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, plans to sell shares at HK$53.70 to HK$59.70 apiece, the people said. Shanghai-based ZhongAn is seeking a valuation of as much as $11 billion, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. 

SoftBank Vision Fund has been discussing buying $400 million to $500 million of ZhongAn stock as a cornerstone investor in the IPO, the people said. ZhongAn aims to start taking investor orders Sept. 18, according to the people.

ZhongAn is seeking a listing amid a rally in the city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index, which last month hit its highest level in more than two years. Any deal would add to the $9.4 billion of first-time share sales in Hong Kong this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Details of offering could still change before it launches next week, one of the people said. Policies sold by ZhongAn include coverage for cracked mobile-phone screens and guaranteed returns for purchases from e-commerce platforms like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Taobao marketplace.

Representatives for ZhongAn and SoftBank declined to comment. JPMorgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse Group AG, UBS Group AG and CMB International Capital Ltd. are joint sponsors of the offering. 

Ant Financial, the financial-services company controlled by Ma, is ZhongAn’s biggest shareholder with a 16 percent stake, according to a preliminary prospectus filed to the Hong Kong exchange in June. Ping An Insurance Group Co. and Chinese Internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd. each hold 12 percent of ZhongAn, the filing shows.

ZhongAn raised 5.8 billion yuan ($886 million) from a group of investors including Morgan Stanley and China International Capital Corp. in a 2015 funding round. That share sale valued the company at 49.6 billion yuan, ZhongAn said at the time.

— With assistance by Yuki Furukawa

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