Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li’s insurance coverage unit seeks US IPO

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HONG KONG — Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li’s insurance coverage enterprise FWD is heading for a U.S. preliminary public providing, in accordance with a confidential submitting by its mum or dad holding group.

FWD, which has acquired companies in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand in recent times, is focusing on elevating about $3 billion through an IPO within the third quarter at a valuation in extra of $15 billion, two folks acquainted with the plan mentioned. The corporate intends to make use of the proceeds for enlargement and acquisitions, they mentioned.

One purpose the corporate picked the U.S. forward of Hong Kong was as a result of it has a dual-class share construction, one of many folks mentioned, which is permitted within the U.S. and might enable Li to retain voting management. Hong Kong’s itemizing guidelines solely enable weighted voting rights for revolutionary corporations, an exception that FWD, as an insurer, doesn’t qualify for, they mentioned.

PCGI Intermediate Holdings Ltd., the holding firm of FWD and FWD Group, mentioned it “has confidentially submitted a draft registration assertion” with the U.S. Securities and Alternate Fee “regarding a proposed preliminary public providing.”

The precise holding of Li within the two entities is just not identified. However based mostly on earlier bond providing circulars, Li owns 79.3% of FWD, which serves Hong Kong and Macau, and 76.3% of FWD Group, which operates in Southeast Asia and Japan.

The plan for a U.S. providing comes as IPO volumes within the U.S. have already surged to an annual report. IPOs have raised $171 billion, eclipsing final yr’s report $168 billion, in accordance with Dealogic. Chinese language corporations are additionally flocking again to the U.S. after a lull in April and Could with the nation’s Uber-like service Didi Chuxing eyeing about $10 billion as early as this month, folks acquainted have mentioned.

An IPO will spherical off a busy few years for FWD. The corporate final yr accomplished the acquisition of two Metlife items in Hong Kong, Vietcombank-Cardif Life Insurance coverage in Vietnam and PT Commonwealth Life in Indonesia. In 2019, it agreed to pay about $3 billion for the life insurance coverage operations of Thailand’s Siam Business Financial institution.

It has 9.8 million prospects, 6,100 workers and $62.6 billion in property throughout 10 markets in Asia, in accordance with an organization reality sheet. FWD presents life, medical, common insurance coverage, worker advantages and a few wealth safety merchandise.

It’s a part of funding firm Pacific Century Group, which focuses on expertise, media and telecom, monetary providers and property. The insurance coverage enterprise counts Swiss Re, RRJ Capital, Hopu Funding and GIC Ventures amongst its minority shareholders.

FWD didn’t disclose valuation targets and mentioned the value vary or the variety of shares to be issued has not but been decided. An IPO is predicted to happen after the U.S. Securities and Alternate Fee completes its evaluate and is topic to market situations, it mentioned.

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