According to an official statement, the investment in Tencent, which was made by Lippo’s Hong Kong investment subsidiary Continental Equity Inc, comprised new Tencent shares and equity-linked notes (ELNs).
An industry executive said Lippo’s investment in Tencent is purely financial in nature, rather than a strategic move, given the quantum of investment.
A Lippo statement said the funding is part of the group’s ongoing digital transformation but didn’t divulge further details. An email query sent by this portal with additional questions to Lippo elicited no response.
The $44-million investment follows Continental Equity acquiring a total of 365,350 shares in Tencent through a series of trades conducted in the open market between 29 March and 4 April 2018 for a total of about HK$148.5 million ($18.9 million).
Tencent is the owner of leading internet services including WeChat, Snapchat and Spotify, as well as technology companies such as Tesla.
Its market capitalization surpassed $500 billion last November, making it the first listed Chinese firm to do so and it briefly overtaking Facebook as the world’s fifth-biggest firm.
Co-founder Ma Huateng, nicknamed Pony Ma, is the 17th richest person in the world, with a fortune of $45.3 billion — four places behind Google co-founder Sergey Brin, according to the latest Forbes rich list.
The company is also an active investor, with Indonesia’s Go-Jek as one of its most prominent portfolio companies. Earlier this month, it was reported that Tencent, along with fellow Go-Jek backer Warburg Pincus, has offered the ride-hailing major an additional $1 billion to accelerate its overseas expansion plans.
On the other hand, Lippo is a strategic backer in Go-Jek’s rival Grab. The group’s payment company Ovo.id has partnered with GrabPay to ramp up its position in the market.
Lippo is a pan-Asian group with strategic investments and operations across eight markets globally. It is the largest integrated services group in Indonesia, serving more than 60 million unique customers across its real estate, malls, department stores, hospitals, telecommunications, media and financial services businesses.
In Indonesia, Lippo’s nine unique sectors are all pushing to digitalise. In addition, it has established a digital investment group to lay strong foundations for the fourth industrial revolution. This includes Venturra Capital which has invested in 24 startups in the last two years, mataharimall.com, and OVO — Indonesia’s leading payment and marketing platform.