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Posts Tagged ‘Naspers’

Cry for Richard Li

In Insurance, Uncategorized on 08/07/2019 at 4:54 am

He sold too soon a huge stake in Tencent.

From an FT reader commenting on an article on Richard Li who is now in the biz of building a major Asian life insurer (FWD) to challenge the likes of AIA. (Btw, his insurtech, subset of fintech, biz is based here.)

Richard Li never made it as a tech investor. But he came tantalizingly close, once. Back in the late 1990s his company PCCW happened to invest in a small nobody company in what was then the Wild West Chinese border town of Shenzhen. This nobody company was called Tencent. At one point, Mr Li owned something like 40% of it, for which of course he paid peanuts. But then, in 2001, he sold his entire stake to a bunch of nobody South Africans that no one had ever heard of, doubling his amount of peanuts in the process. We know the South African buyer today as Naspers, whose investment in Tencent entered the record books as the most successful venture capital investment ever made.

Really unlucky chap despite being born with a silver spoon in hisa mouth.

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Cybernuts, be happy that SPH not so smart

In Internet, Media on 25/03/2018 at 5:04 am

In 2001, Naspers, a South African publisher (It published the ST for the apartheid regime) bought a stake in a lossmaking Chinese start-up in the wake of the dotcom bust for US$32m.

This week it sold more than US$10bn of its shares in Tencent, the Chinese technology group, a sliver (2%age points) of a stake worth US$167bn which it acquired in 2001 for “peanuts”. It still has 31% of Tencent.

Well I’m sure a PAPPy, think Goh Meng Seng (OK, OK, he’s a covert PAPpy), would say Naspers was lucky. Well at the time the ang moh CEO of Naspers was in China looking at internet investment opportunities, so were Temasek, GIC and SPH senior executives.

They so unlucky meh? Remember Napoleon only wanted as marshalls (his most senior generals) generals who were lucky. He knew the importance of luck. Early in his career, he lost a battle but the unexpected arrival of a fresh division turned the battle around.

Or our GIC, Temasek and SPH executives juz stupid?

Btw, Naspers is trading at a 40% discount to its Tencent stake, despite having profitable operational businesses and other successful internet investments. Shareholders are unhappy.