Chinese firms backed by the government are looking to acquire a significant stake in the proposed credit-scoring joint venture with Ant Group, fueling initial public offering hopes, Reuters reported.

  • Sources close to the matter said both Ant and the Zhejiang Tourism Investment Group Co. Ltd. will each own 35% of the venture. Other partners include state-backed Hangzhou Finance and Investment Group and Zhejiang Electronic Port.
  • Also among the investors is Transfar Group, which will own a 7% stake. It owns financial services firm Transfar Zhilian Co. Ltd., and is the only firm in the partnership that is not backed by the state.
  • Partners are in talks to invest about 500 million yuan as registered capital in the joint venture, which would collect, manage, and analyze consumer data. The move is expected to ease regulatory oversight.
  • The personal credit-scoring firm will be in compliance with the restructuring which regulators ordered just before Ant’s market debut in November. Ant was also slapped $2.75-billion worth of fines, with founder Jack Ma out of the public eye for three months.

The joint venture is expected to become China’s third licensed credit-scoring firm as soon as October.