Richard Li’s FWD Withdraws U.S. IPO Plan With Pivot to Hong Kong
(Bloomberg) -- FWD Group Ltd., the Hong Kong-based insurer backed by billionaire Richard Li, withdrew its U.S. initial public offering as China tightens its grip on overseas listings.
The company said in a filing Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it’s “considering other alternatives” and has decided not to proceed with its New York listing. FWD is considering an IPO in Hong Kong early next year instead, Bloomberg News reported this month.
While FWD has no business operations in China, increased market volatility and some high-profile failures such as Didi Global Inc. have changed market sentiments on listings by companies based in China and Hong Kong. Didi is planning to delist from the U.S. after losing more than half of its market value since its June trading debut.
FWD raised $1.4 billion this month in a private placement from investors including Apollo’s Athene Holding Ltd., Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Siam Commercial Bank Pcl and Swiss Re AG.
The financing valued FWD at about $9 billion while the U.S. listing would have given it a valuation of $13 billion, Bloomberg News reported.
Other investors in the funding round include the Li family’s Li Ka Shing Foundation, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and Richard Li’s investment firm Pacific Century Group, according to a statement.
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