Some global investors skip Ant’s buyback after valuation slumps 70% – Bloomberg News

(Reuters) -A number of global investors are opting out of Ant Group’s proposed share buyback after the Chinese fintech’s valuation was slashed by more than 70%, Bloomberg News reported on Monday.

Among the investors not participating in the buyback are Warburg Pincus, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Carlyle Group and GIC Pte, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the matter.

However, a few money managers, including Fidelity Investments and T. Rowe Price Group, have agreed to sell their shares, the report added.

In July, Ant Group announced a surprise share buyback of up to 7.6% of its equity interest at a price that represents a group valuation of about 567.1 billion yuan ($78.68 billion).

That represents a steep 75% discount to the $315 billion valuation in 2020 for what was set to be the world’s largest IPO had it not been derailed at the last minute by Chinese regulators.

Global investors including Warburg, GIC and Carlyle invested in Ant in its 2018 fundraising at a valuation of $150 billion.

Following the IPO’s cancellation and Ant’s regulator-driven restructuring, some of the global investors cut their valuation of the company, with Fidelity lowering it to $68 billion in mid 2021, Reuters has reported.

Ant Group, Carlyle Group, CPPIB, Warburg Pincus, GIC, T. Rowe Price Group and Fidelity Investments declined to comment.

($1 = 7.2081 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Nilutpal Timsina in Bengaluru and Kane Wu in Hong Kong; Additional reporting by Yantoultra Ngui in Singapore; Editing by Varun H K and Muralikumar Anantharaman)