Tencent reportedly plans to sell most of its stake in food delivery platform Meituan
Tencent plans to sell all or most of its $24 billion stake in food delivery company Meituan, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
According to Reuters, the Chinese gaming giant has been approaching financial advisers in recent months to study how to execute a possible large-scale sale of Meituan shares.
Tencent owns a 17% stake in Meituan, which is worth $24.3 billion based on the food delivery platform’s market value on Monday.
With the planned sale, Tencent is expected to monetize its eight-year investment, hoarding more cash on hand. In addition, it helps to placate the regulators that aim to tear down the walled garden among tech giants and create a fairer market for competition.
Previously, Meituan reached an exclusive partnership with Tencent to compete with Alibaba’s food delivery service Ele.me. Those agreements include banning Ele.me from accessing Tencent’s ubiquitous super-app WeChat, and excluding Alibaba’s Alipay from the payment channels accepted by Meituan.
Tencent has been reducing its holdings in portfolio companies. It weakened its ties with JD.com in December by gradually selling 86% of its stake in China’s second-largest e-commerce company for $16.4 billion.
A month later, it raised $3 billion by selling a 2.6% stake in Singapore-based gaming and e-commerce firm Sea, in what was seen as a move to monetize its investments while adjusting its business strategy.
The value of its holdings in publicly-traded companies, excluding its subsidiaries, fell to just $89 billion at the end of March from $201 billion a year earlier, according to its quarterly report.
According to the report, Tencent is seeking to kick off the sale of its stake in Meituan within this year if market conditions are favorable.
So far, Tencent declined to comment. Meituan did not respond to a request for comment.
The company will report its second-quarter earnings after the market close in Hong Kong on Wednesday.