Chinese chip designer GigaDevice raises $610m from Singapore’s GIC, others

Photo by Alexandre Debiève on Unsplash

Shanghai-listed chip designer GigaDevice Semiconductor has raised 4.32 billion yuan ($610 million) from five investors, including Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte, through a private placement of shares.

According to a recent filing with the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Beijing-based GigaDevice offered nearly 21.22 million shares at a price of 203.78 yuan ($28.80) apiece. Other investors that participated in the private placement are state-owned investment platform Qingdao City Construction Investment; Bosera Asset Management, which is China’s second-biggest fund house by assets under management; and two individual investors.

GIC obtained the right to purchase about 9.79 million shares for over 1.99 billion yuan ($281 million). The investment gave the Singapore fund a 2.7 per cent stake in GigaDevice, making it the Chinese company’s ninth-largest shareholder, shows the filing.

Chinese investment bank China International Capital Corporation (CICC), which served as the lead underwriter, received capital from the five investors on May 25. It transferred 4.32 billion yuan to GigaDevice on May 26 after deducting its underwriting fee.

Shares purchased in the private placement have a lockup period of six months after the completion of the deal. Forty-two investors had participated in the bidding.

Founded in April 2015, GigaDevice is a global fabless supplier in the field of Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) NOR memory chips. The company focuses on the design and development of various high-speed and low-power memory and microcontroller (MCU) series products.

The private placement plan was initially revealed in a stock exchange filing in March, in which GigaDevice proposed to raise 3.32 billion yuan ($469 million) for research and development and industrialisation of its dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) chips and an additional 1 billion yuan ($141 million) to replenish its working capital.

The DRAM memory chips are expected to diversify GigaDevice’s existing product lines of NOR Flash and NAND Flash memory cells, greatly increasing the company’s revenues and profitability, said the company in the March filing.

After the private placement, Zhu Yiming, founder and chairman of GigaDevice, remains its largest shareholder although his stake decreased from 10.01 per cent to 9.56 per cent. The National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment, also known as Chinese state-owned “Big Fund,” is the second-largest investor with an 8.33 per cent stake.

GigaDevice raised 582 million yuan ($82 million) in an initial public offering (IPO) in August 2018.

It registered revenues of 805 million yuan ($114 million) in the first quarter of 2020, up 76.51 per cent compared with the same period in 2019, according to its latest financial results.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.