Ant Group Says It Will Help Employees Monetize Stock After IPO Cancellation

An Ant Group logo is displayed at the headquarters of the company, an Alibaba subsidiary, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, on October 29, 2020.

Aly Song | Reuters

GUANGZHOU, China – Ant Group will find a “liquidity solution” for employees to monetize the shares after regulators withdrew their massive initial public offering (IPO), according to a senior company executive.

Eric Jing, CEO of the Chinese fintech company created by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, also pledged to list the company.

An employee posted on Ant Group’s internal message board asking about the future of the company and how to retain talent. In response, Jing said the tech giant is seeking a “short-term liquidity fix” for employees to take effect in April, without elaborating on what that might mean, a person who saw the memo.

Ant Group declined to comment when contacted by CNBC.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the content of the message.

Many Ant Group employees will hold company stock as a form of compensation. Generally, employees can withdraw or monetize those shares if the company is acquired, publicly traded, or management decides to buy back shares.

Ant Group, owner of the popular Chinese mobile payments app Alipay, was planning a $ 34.5 billion IPO in Shanghai and Hong Kong in November, which would have been the largest of all time. But regulators forced the company to stop trading two days before it started trading. Ant cited “major issues such as changes to the financial technology regulatory environment” for the cancellation.


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