KUALA LUMPUR Feb 19 MOL Global Pte Ltd, a
Malaysian online payment firm controlled by billionaire Vincent
Tan, said on Wednesday the sultan of the southern state of Johor
will buy a 15 percent stake in its operating unit, MOL
AccessPortal Sdn Bhd, for $120 million.
The purchase, which values the online payment unit at about
$800 million, comes at a time when MOL is aiming for a $300
million Nasdaq listing by the first half of this year.
"MOL has grown to be a global Internet company that can
trace its roots back to the state of Johor where it was
originally conceptualised 14 years ago," MOL's co-founder and
chief executive, Ganesh Kumar Bangah, said in a statement.
MOL, which snapped up Friendster Inc - one of the earliest
social networking sites - 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.
Also known as Money Online, MOL said it will retain an 85
percent stake in MOL AccessPortal, which handles more than 60
million transactions annually with an payment value of more than
MOL might be the biggest listing this year for Tan, who was
Malaysia's ninth-richest man with a net worth of $1.3 billion.
Tan made his fortune running businesses from lotteries to hotels
and fastfood franchises. He is also the owner of U.K. football
club Cardiff City.
(Reporting By Yantoultra Ngui; Editing by Matt Driskill)