Synagie proposes to sell e-commerce business to Gobi fund, Alibaba consortium

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Singapore-listed Synagie has entered into an agreement to sell its e-commerce and logistics businesses to Synagistics, a consortium led by Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund, for S$61.7 million ($44.9 million).

The consortium includes Alibaba Singapore Holding, Synagie co-founders Clement Lee Shieh-Peen, Zanetta Lee Yue and Tai Ho Yan, as well as Metadrome, which is Synagie’s guarantor, the company said in a filing to SGX on Wednesday.

Clement Lee is the sole owner of Metadrome, Synagie’s controlling shareholder, with a 23.3 per cent direct stake, the statement said. Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund, a $200 million fund for growth-stage startups in Southeast Asia, is managed by Gobi Partners, which has more than $1.1 billion in assets under management, the statement said.

Because the acquisition would be considered an “interested person” deal, Synagie will be required to hold an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders to obtain their approval.

The acquisition price is a premium to Synagie’s net asset value for the units of around a negative S$14.1 million as of end-2019, with a net loss before tax of S$8.49 million for 2019, the statement said.

Synagie said it will distribute the divestment proceeds to shareholders via a special dividend.

If the proposed deal is completed, Synagie will continue to own its insurance tech business and will change its name, the statement said.

In 2019, Synagie launched Kiasu.me, a mobile app offering lifestyle insurance policies, such as for personal gadgets and cyber risks.

On Wednesday, Synagie said it expected to report a profit for the first half of 2020 on account of a surge in sales of COVID-19 related products, such as masks and sanitizers, and increased e-commerce sales due to stay-at-home measures.

RHT Capital has been appointed financial advisor to Synagie, while Cushman & Wakefield VHS has been tapped to provide an independent valuation of the e-commerce business, the statement said.

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.