The Zurich-based lender, a frequent adviser on deals across Jack Ma’s empire, made the equity investment during Ant’s 2018 fundraising, which valued the company at $150 billion. Credit Suisse stands to make paper gains on the previously undisclosed investment if the offering gets a strong reception.
Credit Suisse Group AG invested nearly $100 million in Ant Group during its last funding round, setting the Swiss bank up for a potential windfall as the Chinese internet giant prepares to go public.
Credit Suisse joins a growing number of banks from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to China International Capital Corp. in investing in private companies, particularly those in the technology sector.
The investments hold the promise of generous returns at a time of intensifying competition and thinning fees for underwriters. Credit Suisse has also invested in L&P Cosmetics Co. in Korea and Hero Fincorp Ltd. in India.
Ant, the crown jewel of Ma’s Alibaba empire, has said it plans to pursue a simultaneous dual-listing in Hong Kong and on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s STAR board. Ant is leaning toward giving Credit Suisse the smaller role of joint global coordinator for its Hong Kong IPO after the bank was left off an initial list of sponsors for the deal, people familiar have said.