October 4, 2018 / 12:50 PM / 19 days ago

KKR, Tencent to invest $175 million for minority stake in Philippine fintech firm

MANILA (Reuters) - Private equity firm KKR & Co Inc and Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd are acquiring a minority stake in the financial technology arm of Philippines’ PLDT Inc, the companies said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: A Tencent sign is seen during the fourth World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, December 4, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

Philippine consumers, given the proliferation of smartphones, are increasingly subscribing to digital services like e-payments and online shopping.

In a statement, PLDT said KKR and Tencent will turn into minority shareholders in Voyager Innovations Inc by separately acquiring a total of up to $175 million worth of new shares.

The deal is the largest investment to date in a Philippine technology company, said PLDT, which will retain a majority stake in Voyager. Last year, Jack Ma’s Ant Financial Services Group invested in Globe Fintech Innovations Inc, the main Philippine competitor of Voyager.

Voyager provides digital and financial services to millions of Filipinos through its e-wallet, digital payments and remittance units.

“With the global expertise and fresh capital from the new investors, Voyager will enable greater access to mobile payments and the internet as a whole for the country’s population,” PLDT said.

Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; editing by David Evans

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