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aws《全》区号(www.2km.me)_Tencent raises US$3bil by trimming stake in S’pore’s Sea

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Tencent said late on Tuesday it had entered into a deal to reduce its stake in the technology group to 18.7% from 21.3%. The company plans to retain the substantial majority of its stake in Sea for the long term.

SINGAPORE: Chinese gaming and social media company Tencent Holdings Ltd has sold 14.5 million shares in Singapore-based gaming and e-commerce firm Sea Ltd at US$208 (RM871.71) each to raise US$3bil (RM12.57bil), according to a term sheet seen by Reuters yesterday.

Tencent said late on Tuesday it had entered into a deal to reduce its stake in the technology group to 18.7% from 21.3%. The company plans to retain the substantial majority of its stake in Sea for the long term.

The sale comes after Tencent said last month it would divest US$16.4bil (RM68.73bil) of its stake in JD.com, weakening its ties to China’s second-biggest e-commerce firm, amid pressure from Beijing’s broad regulatory crackdown on technology firms.

Sea’s shares fell 11.4% on Tuesday in New York following the divestment news. Ahead of the announcement, Sea said Tencent had also agreed to cut its voting stake in the company to less than 10%.

“We believe with a lower voting right control, it could reduce any potential conflict if Tencent’s gaming teams plan to publish more games directly in global markets and help reduce any potential geopolitical friction if and when Sea plans to expand more strategically into new markets in more countries,” Citi’s analysts said in a report yesterday.

Sea said Tencent and its affiliates had given an irrevocable notice to convert all their class B ordinary shares.

Upon conversion, all outstanding class B shares of Sea will be beneficially owned by Forrest Li, the founder, chairman and CEO of Sea, South-East Asia’s most valued company, which has a market capitalisation of US$110bil (460bil).

Tencent and Sea declined to comment on the pricing of the share sale.

Sea’s shares have shed 47% from a record high struck in October but have still risen five-fold in the past three years.

The company started out as a gaming firm in 2009 and then diversified into e-commerce and food delivery, benefiting from roaring demand for its services from consumers, especially during pandemic-related restrictions.

Sea is now expanding its e-commerce operations globally.

“The divestment provides Tencent with resources to fund other investments and social initiatives,” Tencent said in a statement.

It sold the stock at the lower end range when the transaction was launched on Tuesday. The price set was a 6.8% discount to Sea’s closing price on Monday.

Tencent’s shares fell 3.5% yesterday in a broader market, weighed down by tech stocks. — Reuters

Tencent will be subject to a lockup period that restricts further sale of Sea shares by Tencent during the next six months.

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