PChome Online Inc (網路家庭) is planning a private placement to seek strategic investors for its long-term development and collaboration across sectors, the e-commerce company said at a news conference at the Taipei Exchange on Friday.
The company plans to raise NT$1 billion (US$36.05 million) from China Development Financial Holding Corp (中華開發金控), Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) and the management team of 21st Century Digital Technology Co (廿一世紀數位), it said after gaining approval from its board of directors earlier that day.
Private placement refers to the sale of a large tranche of securities to a small group of investors. In such a transaction, buyers sign an investment letter stating that the securities would not be resold for a specified period of time.
In PChome’s case, the sale of 9,376,463 common shares — at NT$106.65 per share — to the three strategic investors accounts for 7.35 percent of its outstanding shares, it said.
“By leveraging the experiences and resources on financial services and valuable telecom big data, as well as its AI-enablement technology from the strategic investors, PChome anticipates to accelerate the data-driven digital transformation to not only reinforce its fintech ecosystems, specifically on e-commerce and fintech solutions, but also optimize its fintech subsidiary organization through this strategic partnership,” the company said in a statement.
To integrate resources and promote cooperation to enhance shareholders’ interests, PChome said its board also approved a plan to obtain about 50 percent of the shares in 21st Century Digital.
Based on their agreement, PChome plans to invest about NT$2.16 billion and exchange shares of its mobile payment arm Pi Mobile Technology Inc (拍付國際) to secure about 10.28 million common shares of 21st Century Digital, while 21st Century Digital is to acquire 34.49 million common shares of Pi Mobile through share swap.
One share of Pi Mobile is worth 0.298 common shares of 21st Century Digital, PChome said.
21st Century Digital is a service provider in the digital consumer fintech field. It mainly provides “buy now pay later” (BNPL) services, including installment payments and mortgage loans through their own online platform, offline channels and e-commerce Web site.
The company was established in 2016 with a capitalization of NT$380 million. Last year, it obtained investment from CDIB Venture Capital Corp (中華開發創業投資) to develop a long-term partnership with a subsidiary of China Development Financial Holding. This year, the company’s BNPL service, Gogopay (分期趣), officially launched on PChome’s platform.
The investment in 21st Century is to occur after the completion of the private placement, PChome said.
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