Fatfish and Swiss VC Mountain Partners in US$9.2mil tie-up
By Digital News Asia August 18, 2016
- Parties aim to become leading ‘Internet builder’ in SEA
- Fatfish to continue holding some investments directly
AUSTRALIAN Securities Exchange-listed Fatfish Internet Group Limited said it is entering into a strategic and financial alliance with Swiss-based venture capital firm Mountain Partners AG.
The two companies have entered into a non-binding term sheet, that pending various approvals, will see Fatfish become a strategic partner of Mountain in South-East Asia.
Pending due diligence and fair value audit, the acquisition of selected assets from Fatfish will be for US$9.2 million consisting of Mountain shares and cash.
As part of the transaction, Mountain intends to acquire 100% of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) comprising selected assets held by Fatfish, and will then form a joint venture (JV) to be branded as Mountain Asia which will be majority-owned by Mountain.
Fatfish and Fatfish leaders will be spearheading the operation of the JV.
The JV will manage Mountain’s investments in South-East Asia and execution of its global strategy for the rollout of leading digital and technology businesses. The JV shall also support the growth of the SPV’s portfolio and that of Mountain’s in the region.
Fatfish chief executive and director Lau Kin Wai (pic) told Digital News Asia (DNA) that both parties felt there were strong synergies in their mission and decided to partner.
However he declined to reveal which Fatfish portfolio companies will be part of the JV. “We are not ready to disclose their names yet but they are based on verticals of interest to both parties,” he told DNA via email.
Meanwhile, Fatfish will continue to hold certain investments directly, outside of those to be acquired by the SPV. These investments will include Fatfish’s interest in iCandy Interactive Ltd, Fintech Asia Group and others.
Describing itself as a global company builder based in Zurich, Mountain Partners was established in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Dr Cornelius Boersch (pic), who believes that a strong management skill set and the implementation of professionally structured processes are as important as idea and product.
As a result, Mountain Partners has developed a system to incubate, grow and internationalise technology businesses from great ideas to global presence and to create market leaders through close cooperation with local co-investors and an expanding network of international hubs.
It calls this system ‘industrial farming.’
Mountain Partners and its founders claim to have created more than 11,000 jobs in 22 countries by financing and building over 200 technology and Internet companies. Notable companies are buyVIP (acquired by Amazon), Lieferando (acquired by Takeaway.com), and Secusmart (acquired by BlackBerry).
The cross-continent partnership provides a stronger platform for both Mountain and Fatfish to tap a wider international network to build global businesses on an accelerated pace, the two companies said in an official statement.
The proposal has been unanimously recommended by the directors of Fatfish and has received preliminary approval by the board of directors of Mountain Partners. It is further subject to approval of Fatfish shareholders, due diligence, and the sign-off on definitive agreements by Fatfish and Mountain.
Closing is expected in the fourth quarter of 2016.
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