The implications of Tencent’s $300 million stake in Afterpay
We look at some of the key implications of Tencent’s recently revealed 5% stake in Afterpay.
Afterpay share price: the wild ride continues
On Monday investors were reminded why betting against Afterpay (APT) can be a hazardous enterprise.
On Friday, after the market close, Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings revealed it had taken a 5% – roughly $300 million stake in Afterpay.
The up-and-coming tech darling was quick to release its own media statement some 20 minutes later, framing this substantial holding as more of a strategic partnership and collaborative opportunity than anything else.
And unsurprisingly, when the markets opened on Monday, investors were clamouring to get their hands on Afterpay’s stock. At its intraday peak, the Afterpay share price was bid up a staggering 35%.
Things eased off as the session wore on, with APT finishing out Monday up a more modest 23.8% – to $36.10 per share. Optimism around the ‘Tencent partnership’ continued on Tuesday, with the stock rising to $37.68 per share – in the first 30-minutes of trade.
According to ASIC's latest regulatory filing – ending 28 April –approximately 10.2 million APT shares, or 3.83% of the company's outstanding shares, were held short.
Implications of Tencent's stake
Looking at the implications of Tencent’s substantial holding revelation, Afterpay’s co-founders, Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar said:
'Tencent's investment provides us with the opportunity to learn from one of the world's most successful digital platform businesses.’
Yet likely what perked investor interest the most, was the suggestion of the long-term collaborative potential between Afterpay and Tencent.
Here it was noted:
'To be able to tap into Tencent’s vast experience and network is valuable, as is the potential to collaborate in areas such as technology, geographic expansion and future payment options on the Afterpay platform.'
Tencent's Chief Strategy Officer, James Mitchell, echoed the above sentiment, saying: 'Afterpay’s approach stands out to us not just for its attractive business model characteristics, but also because its service aligns so well with consumer trends we see developing globally.’
Mr Mitchell finished by saying:
'We look forward to a deep and long-term business partnership between Tencent and Afterpay.'
Other bits and pieces
From March to April, Tencent acquired approximately 13.35 million APT shares, at purchase prices of between $17.11 to $31.30 per share.
Going forward and looking at whether Tencent would potentially up its 5% stake, the Australian Financial Review reported that:
‘Bankers reckon it would be unusual for Tencent to make a bigger play for Afterpay, having already crossed the 5 per cent mark and revealed its interest.’
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