Ant Group, a company backed by billionaire Jack Ma, is reportedly planning to restructure and cut ties to some operations that are not core parts of its Chinese financial business. The move prepares the company for a potential initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong. 

Citing anonymous sources, mainstream media outlet Bloomberg reported that the firm relayed to its shareholders that the company is looking to leave its blockchain database management out of a main entity, which will then be applying for a financial holding license in China.

After completing its restructuring plans and securing the license, the company can prepare to go public in Hong Kong instead of its former approach of pursuing a dual Shanghai-Hong Kong listing.

In 2020, Ant Group targeted a $226 billion valuation by attempting a $30 billion IPO in Hong Kong and Shanghai. If it had been successful, the initial public offering would have been the largest in history, overtaking previous records such as the Saudi Aramco IPO, which raised $29.4 billion. However, the Chinese government intervened before the IPO came to fruition.

While the plans seem feasible, the report noted that it’s not yet finalized and may be subject to changes.

Blockchain firm Earlyworks announce IPO pricing on Nasdaq

Meanwhile, Japanese blockchain firm Earlyworks, which deals with grid ledger systems (GLS), has announced the pricing for its initial public offering of 1.2 million American depository shares. The shares will go for $5 each and have been approved for listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market. 

According to a press release by Earlyworks, the funds from the offering will be used to invest in research and development for GLS and its system development kit (SDK). In addition, the company will also be onboarding new talent and strengthening its internal governance systems. The firm also highlighted that it will invest in blockchain businesses.

Earlyworks’ GLS is a hybrid blockchain that integrates database technology for high-speed processing. Earlyworks aims to leverage this technology in various industries and offer engineers a general-purpose SDK. 

Related: Allowing Coinbase to go public was not a ‘blessing’ from regulators — SEC

Other IPO news: 

Earlier in 2023, layer-1 blockchain provider Chia Network said it filed a proposal for an IPO to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). On April 14, the firm announced that it submitted an IPO registration to the SEC. The company did not provide many details about the offering and highlighted that the price range has not yet been determined. However, the IPO is expected to start once the SEC finishes its review process. 

On June 30, Bitcoin Depot — one of the largest crypto ATM providers in the United States — announced that it would go public on Nasdaq after a merger with fintech firm GSR II Meteora. The company made its debut on July 3, with its stock price rising by nearly 12%.

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