Zhong An Insurance plans to sell 5 to 10 percent of the company to a couple of strategic investors to raise up to 10 billion yuan (HK$11.25 billion) ahead of a planned initial public offering in the mainland
Zhong An Online Property and Casualty Insurance plans to sell 5 to 10 percent of the company to a couple of strategic investors to raise up to 10 billion yuan (HK$11.25 billion) ahead of a planned initial public offering in the mainland, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.
China’s first internet-only insurer, whose major shareholders include two of the largest internet firms – Alibaba Group’s Ant Financial affiliate with 16 percent, and Tencent Holdings (0700) with 12 percent – is in early talks with potential investors, according to the sources.
The investors would be expected to commit at least one billion yuan each, and the new funds would be used by Zhong An to expand its business and buy time before securing approval from regulators for the IPO.
The company’s proposed valuation for the offering has yet to be decided, the sources said.
Zhong An says it offers more than 300 insurance products, and has written more than 7.56 billion policies for some 535 million customers.
China’s securities regulator is looking at offering a shortcut for some of the country’s largest technology firms, including Zhong An, to list at home, allowing them to jump a long line of applicants seeking IPO approvals.
Zhong An was founded in November 2013 by Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma Yun, Tencent chairman Pony Ma, and Ping An Insurance Group chairman Ma Mingzhe. Ping An holds a 12 percent stake.
In 2015, Zhong An raised 5.78 billion yuan from investors. The fund- raising valued it at about US$8 billion (HK$62.4 billion) at the time.