Razer execs plan to value firm at up to $4.5 billion in take-private deal -sources

HONG KONG (Reuters) -A consortium led by Razer Inc’s top executives is planning to value the Hong Kong-listed gaming hardware maker at up to HK$35 billion ($4.5 billion) in a deal to take it private, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

FILE PHOTO: Min-Liang Tan, co-founder and CEO of Razer, attends the debut of the company at the Hong Kong Exchanges in Hong Kong, China November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Chairman Min-Liang Tan and non-executive director Kaling Lim, with a combined stake of nearly 60% in Razer, are leading a group to offer up to HK$4 per share for the deal, the people said. That is almost double Razer’s average share price of HK$2.1 over the past month.

The move comes as the consortium believes Razer, based in the United States and Singapore, has been undervalued in Hong Kong where investors typically pay more attention to tech firms from mainland China, the people added, declining to be identified due to confidentiality constraints.

Razer declined to comment. Tan and Lim also declined to comment on a Reuters query made via the company.

Razer shares jumped as much as 23% in afternoon trading on Tuesday after the Reuters report. It was up more than 10% at 0521 GMT.

In late October, a company filing said Tan and Lim were in preliminary talks with financial investors to explore the possibility of a transaction involving the company which may or may not lead to a general offer for its shares.

The consortium is also in talks with private equity firm CVC Capital Partners for the buyout, said one of the two people and two other people with knowledge of the matter.

Buyout firm KKR has also studied the deal but has yet to decide on whether it will invest, said the first two people and another person.

KKR declined to comment. CVC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The talks have advanced and the consortium is looking to announce the deal by end-2021, the first two people said.

The consortium aims to eventually list Razer in New York to take advantage of higher valuations for tech stocks, the first two people told Reuters.

RAZER PERFORMANCE

Founded in the United States and Singapore in 2005, Razer has grown from making wireless mice to manufacturing gaming laptops, gaming keyboards and other accessories.

It swung to a record net profit of $31.3 million in the first half of 2021, riding a gaming boom as COVID-19-related lockdowns kept people at home, compared to a net loss of $17.7 million a year earlier. The United States accounted for 42% of its first-half revenue.

Razer went public at HK$3.88 per share in the Asian financial hub in 2017, in a stellar debut powered by strong retail demand for new technology stocks.

But its stock more than halved last month from this year’s peak of HK$3.36 in February, while the benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 24% over the same period.

However, the shares have jumped 30% to five-month highs since the October filing on Tan and Lim’s talks with investors.

A transaction would add to a surge in strategic investors and buyout firms tapping Hong Kong companies for take-private opportunities, attracted by undervalued shares.

Hong Kong-listed firms have been involved in $8.15 billion worth of take-private deals in 2021, versus $23 billion for all of last year, Refinitiv data showed.

($1 = 7.7923 Hong Kong dollars)

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