In its effort to go public through a back-door listing, cryptocurrency exchange Huobi buys a controlling stake in a Hong-Kong-based public listed firm – Pantronics Holdings Ltd. – for a price of $70 million. Pantronics confirmed its acquisition on Wednesday, August 29, saying that the Huobi Group has completed this deal by buying 199 million shares of the company through its two subsidiaries – Huobi Universal and Huobi Capital.
After this acquisition, Huobi Group chairman and the controller of the two subsidiary groups, Li Lin gets a stake of 66% in Pantronics making him as the company’s largest individual shareholder. More importantly, this deal has increased the company’s chances of going public through a back-door listing in the future.
Back-door listing is the process in which a private organization takes an entry into the secondary financial market while taking a controlling stake in the public listed company. The announcement notes that the transactions have been made at a price of HK$2.72 (or $0.35) per share which amounts to a total investment of $70 million.
As per earlier propositions, the Huobi Group was willing to get 73.73 percent of Pantronics ordinary shares which would have cost them a total of $77 million. However, the shareholding disclosures were later amended to reflect the change. A Huobi spokesperson declined to comment saying that they are not authorized to unveil any further information from that which has been already given in the official announcement.
However, the document further gave a sneak peek into the exchange’s corporate structure along with the percentage stake on its investors. The Huobi Capital is completely owned by chairman Li Lin. The largest owner of Huobi Universal is Techwealth with 58.44% stake. Techwealth is an investment company wherein chairman Li has got 89% stake. The other investors of Huobi Universal are Sequoia Capital CV IV (23.32 percent) and Zhen Partners Fund I (7.46 percent).
In addition to acquiring this public listed firm, the Huobi Global Group has been seen taking several initiatives and expanding its horizons in the crypto space. The Huobi Global Group recently got Randi Zuckerberg, sister of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, onboard to its Chain Advisory Committee. The committee is focused towards providing the relevant guidance towards the development of the crypto exchange platform.
Last month in July, Huobi made its entry into the U.S. crypto market while opening its HBUS crypto exchange platform in the country. In his statement the newly assigned CEO of HBUS, Frank Fu said:
“Our strategic partner, Huobi, has grown to be the largest digital asset marketplace globally. As investors‘ acceptance of virtual currency and digital asset increases, we have seen incredibly high demand in the U.S. We are excited to launch as Huobi’s strategic partner, to serve the growing number of people participating in virtual currency trading.”
Apart from the U.S., the company also launched its crypto exchange platform in Australia. Huobi Australia CEO Adrian Harrison, said: “For Huobi Group, the move to Australia is a natural fit… We are keen to partner with the growing numbers of Australian blockchain projects looking to list in a maturing market.”