Tuesday, October 19

Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li’s FWD makes US IPO filing public


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Insurance company FWD Group Holdings Ltd, owned by Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li, made its filing for a stock market listing in the United States public on Thursday, revealing a jump in revenue last year.

The insurer, which will list through an initial public offering (IPO), posted revenue of $9.49 billion last year. FWD also said its net loss applicable to shareholders narrowed to $243 million in the year ended Dec. 31, 2020, compared with a $278 million loss a year earlier.

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The company had confidentially filed for the listing in June. FWD has not yet set the terms for its IPO, but Reuters had reported https://www.reuters.com/business/hong-kong-tycoon-richard-lis-fwd- files-us-listing-2021-06-17 it could raise $2 billion to $3 billion, valuing the company at $13 billion to $15 billion.

Richard Li is the son of Hong Kong’s richest man, Li Ka-Shing. FWD’s foundation was laid in 2012 with the acquisition of ING’s Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand units for $2.1 billion, and it has since continued this bolt-on approach.

Major acquisitions include the $3 billion purchase of Siam Commercial Bank PCL’s life insurance unit in Thailand in 2019, just days after agreeing to buy the Hong Kong operations of US insurer MetLife Inc.

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There has been indicative interest in up to $500 million of the stock to be sold in the IPO, according to the filings.

The Li Ka Shing Foundation has indicated it could buy up to $300 million worth of stock, while Richard Li’s PCCW Ltd could take $100 million, the filings showed.

FWD’s controlling shareholder, Pacific Century Group – another Richard Li firm – has also flagged its interest to invest $100 million.

The indicative orders account for nearly one quarter of the IPO at the lower end of the proposed raising range.

FWD also said it would raise $400 million from Apollo Global Management Inc in a private placement as part of a new asset and investment management agreement. (Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru and Scott Murdoch in Hong Kong; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Christopher Cushing )

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