Tencent, KKR take stakes in PLDT fintech unit - Mobile World Live

Tencent, KKR take stakes in PLDT fintech unit

05 OCT 2018

Chinese internet giant Tencent and private equity company KKR will acquire minority interests in Philippines-based PLDT’s fintech arm Voyager Innovations.

In a statement, PLDT said the companies will each take a substantial minority stake in the unit by separately subscribing to a total of up to $175 million-worth of new shares.

The transaction is expected to close in Q4, subject to clearance from he Philippines Competitive Commission. PLDT will keep a majority interest in Voyager Innovations. The agreement also contain provisions for the fintech company to issue additional shares to other investors, which would reduce PLDT’s ownership to less than 50 per cent, but see it remain the largest shareholder.

Wider access
PLDT added: “With the global expertise and fresh capital from the new investors, Voyager Innovations will enable greater access to mobile payments and the internet as a whole for the country’s population.”

Manuel Pangilinan, PLDT chairman and president, said: “Having global powerhouses such as KKR and Tencent as investors in Voyager Innovations demonstrates not only their confidence in the company’s ability to execute its vision, but also their confidence in the Philippine technology industry as a whole.”

In early September, when reports stated PLDT was selling the unit, Pangilinan confirmed in a statement the sale of Voyager Innovations to overseas investors had “advanced to the next stage”, with the company “in the process of definitive documentation already.”

He said once new investors were on board, “PLDT’s equity will fall to about 40 per cent”.

The company, which owns mobile operator Smart Communications, said the deal is the largest investment to date in a Philippine technology company.

Voyager Innovation services include a prepaid mobile wallet, mobile-based remittance network and digital lending platform.



Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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