IPO Rumors Floating on Air as Huobi Acquires Public Firm for $77 Million

The cryptocurrency exchange Huiobu fuels market speculations discreetly becoming the largest shareholder of a Hong-Kong-based public firm.

Photo: Philip McMaster / Flickr

Photo: Philip McMaster / Flickr

As the crypto-community is rapidly developing, it becomes a real challenge to get on the headlines. Many projects have sunk into the darkness before being noticed, still some were sentenced to be a jewel of the fintech locomotive.

The world’s leading crypto-exchange Huobi is known for the smart and creative business solutions streamlining digital trading in every corner on the globe. The Singapore-based platform seeks to cover an entire industry, thus it boldly spreads the wings to foreign lands.

While opening offices in over 130 countries, Huobi has been experimenting with various ownership schemes: the affiliated companies including recently launched Australian and U.S. trading platforms, HBUS and HuobiAU, do not formally operating under the Huobi brand, yet they are under direct supervision of the company.

Now Huobi is seeking to acquire a Hong Kong-based public limited firm, positioning itself for an IPO. The deal worth $77 million opens a door for the exchange to go public via a reverse buyout.

On August 21, Pantronics Holdings filed shareholding disclosures to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, in which the public company was transferring over 221 millions of its regular shares to Li Lin, the chairman of Huobi Group, through a number of the exchange’s branches.

Pantronics is an electronics manufacturer incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. The compaby went public in 2016, and has a current market cap of just over $900 million.

The acquisition details available to the public disclose the value per share equals to HK$2.72 or $0.35. Under the terms, Li Lin is to become the largest substantial shareholder of Pantronics Holdings, owing 73.73 percent the company. Following the major sellout, the company halted the trading of its shares on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, stating:

“At the request of Pantronics Holdings Limited (the “Company”), trading in the shares of the Company on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited will be halted with effect from 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, 22 August 2018 pending the release of an announcement relating to a possible offer to be made under Rule 26 of the Hong Kong Codes on Takeovers and Mergers, which is inside information in nature.”

So far, Huobi has not made official statement clarifying the exchange intentions towards a purchased stock package. Reportedly, Huobi is waiting for the approval from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and this is a reason for delay. Nevertheless, if the deal goes through, Huobi could be in the position to take over the public company and then enter the secondary financial market, a procedure called a reverse takeover.

Although there is no confirmation and some says the deal is only a rumor, the cryptocurrency market has reacted immediately. As soon as the news hit the press, the price Huobi Token, the exchange’s own crypto asset, jumped by eight percent and has now seen a six percent rise over the past 24 hours, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

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