GIC-backed Vietnam tech firm considers $4 billion Spac merger

VNG has been considering a potential Nasdaq listing since at least 2017. PHOTO: VNG CORPORATION/FACEBOOK

HANOI (BLOOMBERG) - Vietnam's VNG Corp, whose investors include a unit of Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC, is considering going public in the US through a reverse merger with a blank-check company, or special purpose acquisition vehicle (Spac), according to people familiar with the matter.

The online gaming and technology firm is working with financial advisers to hold discussions with special purpose acquisition companies for a potential deal, the people said. A transaction could value VNG at US$2 billion to US$3 billion, they said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private.

Discussions are ongoing and the company could decide to pursue other funding options, the people said. A representative for VNG said no decision on an initial public offering or Spac has been made or approved, and otherwise declined to comment.

VNG has been considering a potential Nasdaq listing since at least 2017, Bloomberg News has reported.

A deal would see VNG join other Southeast Asian firms in seeking US listings through mergers with blank-check companies. Singaporean online real estate firm PropertyGuru agreed to a US$1.8 billion Spac deal in July, while Indonesia's Traveloka is in talks to raise funds for a listing via blank-check firm merger, Bloomberg News reported last week.

Founded in 2004 as a gaming firm, VNG's products reach over 80 million users, according to its website. Its gaming arm develops and publishes its own titles as well as local versions of international hits such as PUBG Mobile, the unit's site shows. It also runs messaging app Zalo and e-wallet ZaloPay, as well as cloud computing and other communications services.

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