News Life and Health07 Jun 2024

Hong Kong:FWD Group revives bid for IPO - report

| 07 Jun 2024

Billionaire Richard Li has revived plans to list pan-Asian insurer FWD Group in Hong Kong, reported Reuters quoting three people with direct knowledge of the matter, after regulatory delay and market volatility scuppered previous attempts to take it public.

Hong Kong-headquartered FWD could target a valuation of up to $9bn in the initial public offering (IPO) depending on financial market conditions when launching the deal, one of the people said.

The deal timeline and offering size are yet to be decided, the people said, declining to be identified as they were not authorised to speak with media.

"While we do not currently have an active listing application and no decisions have been made to refile at this stage, of course we continue to keep a close eye on capital market developments and conditions," a FWD spokesperson said.

Mr Li founded FWD in 2013 and controls it via investment arm Pacific Century Group, which has interests in the technology, media, telecoms and property as well as financial sectors.

FWD targeted a valuation of at least $10bn when it last attempted to list in Hong Kong in 2022, one of the people said. The deal was shelved due to volatile market conditions.

The insurer, which is present in 10 Asian markets, aimed to raise $2bn to $3bn in a New York IPO in 2021 but shelved the plan due to lengthy delays in obtaining US regulatory approval.

FWD, whose minority shareholders include Swiss Re and Apollo Global Management raised $1.83bn in private placements in 2021 and 2022.

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