Chinese billionaire Jack Ma will no longer control Ant Group after the fintech giant’s shareholders agreed to reshape its shareholding structure, according to a statement released by the company on Saturday.
After the adjustment, Ma’s voting rights will fall to 6.2%, according to the statement and CNN calculations.
Before the restructure, Ma possessed more than 50% of voting rights at Ant via Hangzhou Yunbo and two other entities, according to its IPO prospectus filed with the exchanges in 2020.
Ant added in the statement that the voting rights adjustment, a move to make the company’s shareholder structure “more transparent and diversified,” will not result in any change to the economic interests of any shareholders.
Ant said its 10 major shareholders, including Ma, had agreed to no longer act in concert when exercising their voting rights, and would only vote independently, and thus no shareholder would have “sole or joint control over Ant Group.”
The voting rights overhaul came after Chinese regulators pulled the plug on Ant’s $37 billion IPO in November 2020, and ordered the company to restructure its business.
As part of the company’s restructuring, Ant’s consumer finance unit applied for an expansion of its registered capital from $1.2 billion to $2.7 billion. The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission recently approved the application, according to a government notice issued late last week.
After the fund-raising drive, Ant will control half of its key consumer finance unit, while an entity controlled by the Hangzhou city government will own a 10% stake. Hangzhou is where Alibaba and Ant have been headquartered since their inceptions.
Ant Group is a fintech affiliate of Alibaba, both of which were founded by Ma.