FWD files for NYSE IPO

IFR Asia 1206 - 25 Sep 2021 - 01 Oct 2021
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FWD Group, the Asian insurer backed by billionaire Richard Li, has filed publicly for an NYSE IPO which IFR reported in June could raise up to US$3bn.

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, HSBC and CMB International are the bookrunners.

Li Ka Shing Foundation, which was founded by Richard Li’s father, billionaire Li Ka Shing, has indicated interest to subscribe to US$300m of the IPO, according to the filing. PCCW has also indicated interest of US$100m with another US$100m to come from Pacific Century Group, the controlling shareholder of FWD.

Concurrent with the IPO, FWD is selling US$400m of shares to Apollo Global Management in a private placement.

Founded in 2013, FWD is the insurance business of investment company Pacific Century Group. It serves markets including Hong Kong and Macau, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan and Malaysia. South-East Asian markets contributed over 40% of new business value in 2020.

The company posted revenue of US$6bn for the first half of 2021, up 54% from a year earlier. Its net profit for the first half was US$205m, compared to a loss of US$318m a year earlier. It had 9.9 million customers as of June 30 2021.

It had been working towards a Hong Kong IPO of up to US$3bn in mid-2021, IFR reported last year. That option, however, was not compatible with its intended capital structure, people with knowledge of the matter told IFR at the time. Hong Kong’s listing rules only permit weighted voting rights for innovative companies and FWD does not fully fit the exchange’s definition of that category.