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May 4, 2020

Tencent takes 5% stake in Afterpay for $251m

Chinese fintech giant Tencent has acquired a 5% interest in Australian buy-now-pay-later firm Afterpay.

Based on the Australian firm’s shares’ closing level on 1 May, the shareholding of Tencent in the company was worth about A$390m ($251.55m).

In its shareholding notice with the Australian Securities Exchange, Afterpay said that the Chine conglomerate started buying its shares on 27 March.

The company offered between $17.18 and $22 a share for an initial 0.5% stake, according to the notice.

Tencent continued purchasing until the end of April when it breached the 5% disclosure threshold.

Commenting on the deal, Tencent chief strategy officer James Mitchell said: “Afterpay’s approach stands out to us not just for its attractive business model characteristics, but also because its service aligns so well with consumer trends.”

WeChat, the instant messaging platform of Tencent, also enables customers to make payments and book flights and hotels.

The stake acquisition is part of the Chinese tech giant’s pre-stated strategy that it would focus more on smart retail and payment platforms in the future.

Afterpay co-founders Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar commented: “Being able to attract a strategic investor of this calibre is extremely rewarding and is a testament to our team and the strength of our differentiated business model.

“Tencent’s investment provides us with the opportunity to learn from one of the world’s most successful digital platform businesses. To be able to tap into Tencent’s vast experience and network is valuable, as is the potential to collaborate in areas such as technology, geographic expansion and future payment options on the Afterpay platform.”

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