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Jack Ma’s Ant Plans Interest-Free Loans to Lift Staff Morale

  • Staff stock options valued at 2018 internal buyback price
  • Ant is trying to boost morale five months after IPO was halted
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Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg
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Jack Ma’s Ant Group Co. plans to offer zero-interest loans to employees who own illiquid stock options, seeking to boost morale after the company’s landmark initial public offering was suspended in November, people familiar with the matter said.

The loans will be backed by eligible employees’ restricted stock options, which will be valued at levels calculated after a 2018 funding round, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. That will allow Ant to give staff access to liquidity without requiring the company to establish a more up-to-date valuation for its shares.