Chinese billionaire Jack Ma gave up controlling rights in Ant Group, his share will be reduced to 6.2%
Ant Group, the financial division of Alibaba Group, which owns the payment system AliPay, announced changes in the composition of shareholders and the distribution of voting rights. As a result, the company’s founder Jack Ma will effectively lose control of Ant Group.
The report says that now half of the company’s board of directors consists of four independent directors. Ant Group plans to increase their number to five, as a result of which the independent directors will get the majority on the board.
The procedure for exercising voting rights of the company’s shareholders is also changing: from Jack Ma to ten persons, including the founder, management and staff representatives. In fact, this will deprive Ma of control over Ant Group.
Now the company’s founder and three other investors own a combined 53.46% of Ant Group. Bloomberg estimates that after all the changes, Ma will be left with only 6.2%.
The decision was made to optimize corporate governance and “align the interests of shareholders in voting with their economic interests. The shares of shareholders in the company will not change.
Ant Group planned in November 2020 to hold a major IPO on the Shanghai and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges for $34.5 billion. After Jack Ma’s criticism of the Chinese regulatory authorities, the listing failed and the company thought about selling the founder’s share and his withdrawal from management.
In November 2022, the Financial Times reported that Ma had left China and had been living in Tokyo for several months.