Pac Century Takes Quarter Stake in Singapore’s SilkRoute

Singapore Internet content provider SilkRoute Holdings Pte. Ltd. has signed a deal for Hong Kong-linked Pacific Century Regional Developments to take a 25.1 percent stake in the company for US$26.9 million.

Cyberworks, owned and led by Richard Li, has an option to invest
a further US$6.6 million for an additional 4.9 percent stake in SilkRoute.

SilkRoute, set up five years ago, was one of the first homegrown
starts ups to venture into the internet marketplace, ahead of the
scores of Singaporean companies now venturing into the business.
One of the key moves for the group has been to develop and spin off
business-to-business eCommerce provider Advanced Manufacturing
Online
.

According to the deal, Pacific Century Cyberworks, a unit of Singapore
publicly listed Pacific Century Regional Developments, will buy a
quarter stake into the Singapore company. Cyberworks will pay US$6
million in cash and the rest with 25 million of its own shares
priced at HK$6.50 each.

Through the deal, both companies plan to use each other’s
home ground as a launchpad for their services, linking up north and
south Asia through Singapore and Hong Kong. They also plan to invest
in internet startup companies and build a region-wide network of
internet-related interests.

“In the course of the next 18 months, SilkRoute aims to incubate
and spin-off more than 10 online businesses,” said Wong Toon King,
SilkRoute’s founder.

“This partnership offers significant advantages,” said Wong.
Hong Kong’s Cyber-Port, Li’s e-commerce initiative in Hong Kong, is
an infrastructure project which will provide SilkRoute with a
strategic launching pad into North Asian markets. Pacific Century’s
presence in the Asian markets, based on its previous experience
with STAR TV, will facilitate such operations, he added.

Li, present at the event, said “Pacific Century CyberWorks’
strong operating base at the center of North Asia and Greater
China, and SilkRoute’s strategic location at the hub of the Asean
and India markets, are complementary.”

Wong also said that the company’s shareholders plan to take
SilkRoute public next year and want to achieve a market
capitalization of S$1 billion.

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