Chinese billionaire Jack Ma will step down from controlling 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 drop to 6.2 percent, according to the statement and CNN calculations.
Before the restructuring, Ma held 50.52% of the voting rights in Ant through Hangzhou Yunbo and two other entities, according to its IPO prospectus filed with stock exchanges in 2020.
Ant added in the statement that the adjustment of voting rights, a move to make the company’s shareholding structure “more transparent and diversified”, will not mean any change in the economic interests of any shareholder.
Ant said its top 10 shareholders, including Ma, had agreed not to act in concert when exercising their voting rights and would only vote independently, and therefore no shareholder would have “sole or joint control over Ant Group”.
The review of voting rights 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 requested an increase in its share capital from $1.2 billion to $2.7 billion. The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission recently approved the app, according to a government notice issued late last week.
After the fundraising campaign, Ant will control half of its key consumer finance unit, while an entity controlled by the Hangzhou city government will hold a 10% stake. Hangzhou is where Alibaba and Ant have been headquartered since their inception.
Ant Group is a fintech subsidiary of Alibaba, both founded by Ma.