One Championship reveals listing plans, after two Temasek-linked directors resign

Last June, One Championship announced that it raised US$70 million (S$92 million) in its latest funding round.
Last June, One Championship announced that it raised US$70 million (S$92 million) in its latest funding round.PHOTO: ONE CHAMPIONSHIP/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - The recent departures of two of Group One Holdings' directors come amid the company's plans for a public listing, said group president Teh Hua Fung.

He was responding to recent media reports on the resignations of Mr Derek Lau, Temasek subsidiary Heliconia Capital Management chief executive, and Mr Fock Wai Hoong, a managing director at Temasek. Both stepped down from One's board last month, DealStreetAsia and The Business Times (BT) reported earlier.

The sports media company is the Singapore-registered entity which owns mixed martial arts promoter One Championship.

In a statement on Monday (June 7), Mr Teh said: "As part of our plans for a public listing, we are taking a number of technical steps to ensure that we have the right governance structure in place for various jurisdictions, including the United States."

Temasek and Heliconia Capital remain fully engaged and supportive of the firm's strategic direction, he added.

The state investor is among Group One Holdings' backers, which include sovereign wealth fund GIC and venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Iconiq Capital.

In its statement, Group One Holdings said that it has appointed Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse as its financial advisers for a potential listing, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom as legal adviser.

Mr Lau joined the board in September 2016 after Heliconia's investment, while Mr Fock was appointed in July 2020.

In February, Bloomberg reported that One Championship was considering listing in the US via a special purpose acquisition company. An investor told BT that its revenue-generating potential is not yet evident, and it will have to be "an extraordinary process to get to the public markets".

Last June, the firm announced that it raised US$70 million (S$92 million) in its latest funding round. At the same time, it cut 20 per cent of its total headcount globally, as part of moves to streamline operations. One has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, with events put on hold for much of last year until its pilot event last October.

It recently postponed the One: Empower event, which was scheduled for May 28 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium due to the Covid-19 situation.