Tencent to sell $ 3 billion in shares of Singaporean games company Sea Ltd
Tencent will sell more than $ 3 billion of its shares in Singapore-based games and e-commerce group Sea Ltd, less than a month after selling its stake in JD.com, the Chinese e-commerce company.
China’s top-valued tech company said once the transaction is completed, its stake in Sea will drop from 21.3% to 18.7%. The shares sold were worth around $ 3.2 billion at Tuesday’s closing price.
In a statement, he said he would keep the “substantial majority” of his shares in Sea “for the long term” and not sell any shares for the next six months. He gave no reason for the sale, but said the proceeds “will fund other investments and social initiatives.”
The sale comes a month after Tencent announced it would distribute $ 16 billion in shares of Chinese online shopping group JD.com to shareholders, reducing its stake from around 17% to 2.3%.
A person close to Tencent said at the time of JD.com’s decision that although regulators have not asked it to sell its investments, which collectively are worth some $ 259 billion according to Bernstein analysts, the company is keen to show that it is not an âempire buildingâ.
The company didn’t want to “be seen as wielding massive influence over a huge segment of the economy in perpetuity,” the person added.
In addition to selling its stake in Sea Ltd, Tencent also announced that it will convert its Class B shares, which currently have three votes each, into Class A shares at Sea’s AGM in February. After the agreement, Forrest Li, Managing Director of Sea, will own all of the Class B shares, and Tencent’s voting power in Sea will drop to less than 10%.
Tencent has been a major investor in Chinese technology companies, but over the past year the company has also rapidly expanded its investments abroad.