KUALA LUMPUR Jan 20 MOL Global Pte, a Malaysian online payment company owned by billionaire Vincent Tan, has picked Deutsche Bank AG and Credit Suisse AG to work on a $300 million U.S. IPO, said a person with direct knowledge of the plans.
The firm is aiming for a Nasdaq listing by the first half of this year, changing from an earlier plan to list in Kuala Lumpur as its peers such as eBay Inc are listed in the United States, the source told Reuters.
Also known as Money Online, MOL is expanding in Southeast Asia and plans to tap a push by Malaysia's government to drive e-payments in preparation for a new consumption tax that kicks in next year.
MOL, which snapped up Friendster Inc - one of the earliest social networking sites - in 2009 to boost its online reach, has said it currently processes an annual payment volume of over half a billion U.S dollars.
"The aim for Nasdaq will give investors something else to invest in apart from the usual U.S.-centric tech companies," said the source, who could not be identified as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
MOL has a market presence in Southeast Asia, India and Australia. It has recently turned its focus to the U.S. and Brazilian markets by taking up a majority stake last year in Silicon Valley-based e-payment company Rixty Inc for an undisclosed sum.
MOL executives did not respond to requests for comment.
Deutsche Bank declined to respond to queries while Credit Suisse was not immediately available to comment.
MOL might be the biggest listing this year for Tan, who as Malaysia's 10th richest man with a net worth of $1.3 billion, made his fortune running businesses from lotteries to hotels and fastfood franchises.
He plans to list Seven Convenience, operator of all 7-11 stories in Malaysia in a $250 million IPO in March. Sources have also said Tan is exploring a listing of Welsh football team Cardiff City on Singapore's small cap Catalist exchange.
Last year, Tan listed two smaller Malaysian companies for a combined 100 million ringgit ($30.33 million).