MOL’s Nasdaq listing in Oct

INTERNET BOOM: IPO will raise US$300 million, of which one third is  for working capital purposes

TYCOON Tan Sri Vincent Tan is listing MOL Global Pte Ltd on the Nasdaq Stock Market in the United States in October and expects the company to be worth US$3 billion (RM9.7 billion) in five years.

  MOL, which bought social networking site Friendster Inc in 2009 for US$26.4 million, expects a market capitalisation of U$1 billion upon listing.

 “Potentially, MOL can be a very big company. If you look at the market capitalisation of Internet companies, they are huge. China’s Alibaba is worth almost US$300 billion, while Tencent, which owns WeChat, is around US$150 billion. 

  “Our target of US$3 billion may be a small fraction of that, but I do believe it can grow. We started the company with just RM2 million in 1999 and have invested RM150 million so far to expand.

“Today, we have presence in 14 countries and are expanding in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa,” Tan told Business Times in an interview recently.

  The company, which owns MOL AccessPortal Bhd, a global online payment service provider, is also targeting growth in Europe, although cautiously, he said.

MOL’s major profit contributor is MOLPoints, which is an all-in-one online currency for games, content and services. 

 The company is 73 per cent owned by Tan, Malaysia’s 10th richest man with a net-worth of US$1.3 billion, and his family. 

 Group chief executive officer and co-founder Ganesh Kumar Bangah and Sultan of Johor, own 12 per cent and 15 per cent of the company, respectively.

MOL will be the first Southeast Asian company to carry out an initial public offering (IPO) in the US in more than four years.

The IPO will raise US$300 million, and one third will be utilised for working capital purposes, Tan said. 

“The balance of around US$200 million will be returned back to me and my family as we dilute our shares for the listing,” he added.

Tan said after listing MOL, he and his family will own less than 50 per cent of the company.

 Stakes of Sultan of Johor and Ganesh will reduce to 14 and 10 per cent, respectively, he said.

  Tan recently listed Convenience store operator 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Bhd in a US$250 million IPO.

He is also exploring Welsh soccer team Cardiff City’s listing on Singapore’s small-cap Catalist exchange as well as that of lottery company Sports Toto and mobile phone operator U-Mobile.