Vietnam’s VNG mulls $15.6m private placement in first quarter of 2019

Vietnamese technology major VNG Corporation is mulling a private placement to raise around VND360 billion ($15.6 million) in the first quarter of 2019.

The shares will be issued to both domestic and overseas investors, the Ho Chi Minh City-based company said in a disclosure. It will sell a maximum of 360,000 treasury shares at the offering price of at least VND1 million ($43.5) apiece.

Proceeds from the private placement will be used to expand VNG’s presence in local and overseas markets as well as for future investments.

Starting off as a gaming business, VNG has now expanded into payments, social media and cloud computing. It is Vietnam’s only unicorn, a moniker used for a privately-held startup with a valuation of $1 billion or more.

In 2018, VNG had signed a memorandum of understanding with Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings to jointly seek investment opportunities in internet services such as cloud computing.

DEALSTREETASIA had earlier reported that VNG would consider a private placement ahead of its planned IPO on Nasdaq. In May 2017, the firm signed an MoU to list on the US exchange, which could make it the first Vietnamese firm to conduct an overseas IPO.

In October last year, VNG made details of its foreign ownership, which stands at 44.26 per cent, public for the first time. Singapore sovereign fund GIC holds an 8.14 per cent stake, while Goldman Sachs owns 3.55 per cent. DEALSTREETASIA had learnt that Goldman Sachs had intended to exit VNG.

Meanwhile, two other institutional investors, Tenacious Bulldog Holdings Limited and Prosperous Prince Enterprises Limited, own some 29 per cent of VNG. These are rumoured to be entities related to Chinese giant Tencent, even as both Tencent and VNG have never confirmed the investment.

Tencent president Martin Lau is a member of VNG’s board of directors.

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