(Yicai Global) June 30 -- A South Korea-based entertainment company has become the largest shareholder of China's ride-sharing platform Yidao Yongche, Caijing Magazine reported yesterday.
Through the deal, the former controller, Leshi Holding (Beijing) Co., traded its shareholding in the firm for debt repayment, the report said.
Rumor held that either Lancapital Holdings Group or To-Win Capital Co. was interested in taking over Yidao, but the buyer turned out to be South Korean entertainment firm To-Win Global Co. [KQ:066410].
Wen Xiaodong, Lancapital's founding partner and president, is however the largest shareholder in the Korean group.
Wen is also the legal representative of To-Win Ventures Co., as well as controlling shareholder of Lancapital, per the companies' business registration records. He invested in a South Korean company, Candle Media Co., last September, renaming it To-Win Global in March. Lancapital has invested in several Leshi subsidiaries such as Lemobile, LeSports, Levp and Leshi Super Electric Car Co.
The report did not mention the deal's price or the number of shares acquired.
Chinese private equity fund Lancapital was possibly interested in taking over a roughly 67 percent stake in Yidao Yongche from Leshi for about USD500 million, Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) Co. previously reported. The fund was to inject the money that it previously lent to Leshi into the e-hailing firm through a debt-to-equity swap, with Leshi to have retained only a tiny proportion of the shareholding, per the report.
This deal apparently did not eventuate, however, as Yidao Yongche announced yesterday that it had substituted a new investor as its controlling shareholder. Leshi is no longer in the driver's seat, but the original management team will stay on nonetheless, several media outlets reported. Yidao plans to disclose details of the deal at a press briefing on July 4.