Crypto Exchange Huobi SeeksTo Buy 77% of A Hong Kong-Listed Company Via Reverse Takeover

Huobi Group, operator of the world’s fourth largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of daily trading volume, is seeking to become the largest shareholder of a Hong Kong-listed company through a reverse takeover, local news outlet zhitoncaijing reported August 27.

According to the shareholding disclosures filed by Pantronics Holdings to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the public firm is transferring 221,781,668 of its shares to Li Lin, founder and CEO of Huobi Group. The filing also shows that the stock is worth HK$2.7 per share,  which means this deal could hit nearly $77 million in total.

If completed, Huobi will take over 73.73% equity stake of Pantronics, becoming the actual controller of the electronics manufacturing service provider. Pantronics, a British Virgin Islands-registered company which went public in 2016, has not yet released any announcement regarding the completion of the deal.

The Hong Kong Main Board-listed company halted the trading of its shares on August 22, “ pending a possible offer to be made under Rule 26 of Hong Kong Codes on Takeovers and Mergers, which is inside information in nature”, the firm said in a statement at the time.

When asked about whether Huobi intends to conduct a reverse takeover on July 26, Li Lin said “it was a rumor”. He pointed out that the exchange business is Huobi’s core assets, but due to the regulatory uncertainty faced by the crypto exchanges all across the world, a backdoor listing is difficult to operate.He also added that he believes the traditional capital market will embrace the blockchain economy in the future, so “we don’t exclude the possibility that Huobi will be listed in the traditional market”.

Following the acquisition news, Huobi’s own cryptocurrency Huobi Token is currently traded at $2.31 according to Coinmarketcap, seeing a 5.29% rise over the past 24 hours.

Huobi’s move comes when the Hong Kong Stock Exchange is stepping up efforts to crack down on the “reverse takerover” or “backdoor listing” to clean up the market . A reverse takeover usually allows a private holding company to purchase a publicly traded company skipping the regulatory scrutiny and due diligence to. Many mainland Chinese companies are seeking to list in Hong Kong through this practice nowadays.

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