When Ant Group Co. goes public later this year, the Chinese financial-technology behemoth will likely earn a stratospheric market valuation that would place it at the top of companies listing globally for the first time.

In the coming days, the company controlled by billionaire Jack Ma could shed light on what has been a closely guarded secret for years: how it actually makes money. Ant, which is preparing for blockbuster share sales in Hong Kong and Shanghai, is planning to file its listing documents with exchanges in both cities this week, according to people familiar with the matter, kicking off a process that could have the company go public by October.

The company’s debut will provide a major boost to China’s nascent Nasdaq-style exchange known as the STAR Market, which was created last year to draw listings from the country’s homegrown technology firms.

Ant, which unveiled its IPO plans right around the new board’s one-year anniversary, would be by far the biggest and most valuable company to list there. Inside Ant, the code name for the listing plans is “Project Star,” according to people familiar with the company.

Ant’s listing prospectus will for the first time reveal detailed financial and operational data that investors and analysts will use to justify a more than $200 billion market valuation that Ant is said to be seeking with its dual IPOs.

If attained, it would be the highest-ever valuation at the time of a deal pricing for a company going public for the first time on a major exchange, according to data from Dealogic. Back in 2014, Ant’s sister company, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., was valued at around $168 billion in its record-setting IPO, which ended up raising $25 billion.

Hangzhou-headquartered Ant, formerly Ant Financial Services Group, operates Alipay, a popular payment and lifestyle app that has more than 700 million monthly active users in China. Two years ago, the company was valued at around $150 billion after raising $14 billion in private capital from domestic and global investors.

Source: Private Equity News

Can’t stop reading? Read more