Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. and global investment firm KKR agreed on Thursday to acquire "substantial" minority stakes in Philippine technology firm Voyager Innovations that could be worth up to 175 million U.S. dollars.
Upon the closing of the transaction, which is expected within the fourth quarter of 2018, PLDT Inc., the leading digital services provider in the Philippines, will remain as the majority shareholder of Voyager Innovations, according to a statement.
Once sealed within this quarter, it will mark Tencent's first-ever investment in the Philippines.
The agreement also contained provisions for Voyager Innovations to issue additional shares to other investors which, if this were to occur, would reduce PLDT's ownership to less than 50 percent while still remaining as the largest shareholder.
"The new external funding in Voyager Innovations marks the largest investment to date in a Philippine technology company," said the statement.
With expertise and fresh capital from the new investors, PLDT said Voyager Innovations will enable greater access to mobile payments and the Internet as a whole for the country's population.
Voyager Innovations' mission is to accelerate digital and financial inclusion in the Philippines and enable the broader Filipino population to participate in the digital economy, the statement added.
"Having global powerhouses such as KKR and Tencent as investors in Voyager Innovations demonstrates not only their confidence in the company's ability to execute its vision, but also their confidence in the Philippine technology industry as a whole," Manuel Pangilinan, Chairman, President and CEO of PLDT, said.
James Mitchell, Chief Strategy Officer of Tencent, said that "Voyager Innovations connects the growing smartphone population in the Philippines to online payments and financial services. Tencent is glad to support Voyager Innovations and to advance financial inclusion."
In addition, the statement said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Philippines' central bank, confirmed that it interposes no objection to the investment.