Singapore’s Sea to raise about $2.7 billion in US stock offering

SINGAPORE – Singapore’s Sea Ltd, the tech start-up that’s become the most valuable company in South-east Asia, said it plans to raise about US$2 billion (S$2.67 billion) by issuing new securities in the United States.

New York-listed Sea plans to 11 million American Depositary Shares, with the option to another 1.65 million, according to a statement. The offering would total US$2.2 billion at Wednesday’s closing price or US$2.6 billion with the additional shares. Goldman Sachs Group and JPMorgan Chase & Co are bookrunners for the deal.

Sea, a games company that has expanded into e-commerce and digital banking, has surged to a market valuation of US$100 billion with its shares rising more than 400 per cent this year alone. It intends to spend the proceeds from the new offering on expansion, “including potential strategic investments and acquisitions,” the company said in its statement.

Sea’s first self-made mobile game, a battle royale called Free Fire, has attracted tens of millions of players and its gameplay is now one of YouTube’s most-watched attractions. The company’s Shopee platform has also surged in sync with greater demand for home shopping and food delivery, having taken the mantle of Southeast Asia’s leading e-commerce provider at the end of 2019, according to research firm iPrice.

Sea also snagged one of two digital full bank licences awarded by Singapore last week.

Investors have been betting on Sea becoming its region’s Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group Holding rolled into one, though the company’s most recent quarterly results showed a slight slowdown in its prodigious growth rate.

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