Jack Ma, Alibaba’s main founder, along with vice chairman and co-founder Joe Tsai have pledged “chunks” of their combined $35 billion holdings in the company, the Financial Times reported today, citing company documents.
The pledges to banks including UBS and Goldman Sachs were made by offshore companies that control more than half of the two billionaires’ stakes, the newspaper said. The two “have used the loans to unlock vast personal fortunes tied up in the group’s shares,” the FT said. Purchases by the two include private jets and real estate; the amounts of the pledges weren’t disclosed, the FT said.
Ma retired as executive chairman in 2019, but controversial remarks about China’s banking system last year were seen as leading regulators to halt an IPO by Ma- and Alibaba-backed financial services firm Ant that would have been the world’s largest offering.
Tsai said in an interview with CNBC this month that Ma was “laying low” and had taken up painting as a hobby.
Ma, a former English teacher, is worth $47 billion on the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List today; Tsai, a Taiwan-born, Canadian national who owns the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, is worth $11 billion.
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