IFC acquires $40-million stake in Voyager

International Finance Corp., the private sector arm of the World Bank, acquired a minority stake in Voyager Innovations Inc. for $40 million.

PLDT Inc., the parent firm of Voyager, signed an agreement with IFC and IFC Emerging Asia Fund, a fund managed by IFC Asset Management Company, for the subscription of $40 million worth of newly-issued shares in Voyager.

“The investment is expected to help further expand financial inclusion in the country and promote the digital economy through broader use of digital payments,” PLDT said.

IFC and the IFC Emerging Asia Fund will join KKR and Tencent which previously announced their investments in Voyager.

With these investments, the total new external funding raised by Voyager will increase from $175 million, as announced on Oct. 4, 2018, to $215 million.

PLDT said the combined investments represented the largest investment in a Philippine technology company.

“We at PLDT are quite happy to welcome the investment of the International Finance Corp. and the IFC Emerging Asia Fund in Voyager Innovations. In this undertaking, we are kindred spirits. Through its Global Innovative Retail Payments Program, IFC aims to make financial services much more accessible and affordable to the world’s low-income population by supporting innovative financial services,” PLDT and Smart Communications chairman and chief executive Manuel Pangilinan said.

“That is precisely the goal that PLDT is pursuing through Voyager’s platforms,” he said.

Voyager president and chief executive Orlando Vea said the company’s mission was “to accelerate digital and financial inclusion in the Philippines, so all Filipinos can participate in the digital economy.”

“IFC and IFC Emerging Asia Fund’s investment will enable us to scale up our efforts especially in the digital financial services space,” Vea said.

Upon the close of the investments of KKR, Tencent, IFC and IFC Emerging Asia Fund which is expected before the end of the year, PLDT’s ownership stake in Voyager Innovations will be less than 50 percent while still remaining as the single largest shareholder.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is acting as financial advisor to Voyager, while Latham & Watkins and Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos are acting as legal counsel to PLDT and Voyager.

Goodwin Procter is the legal counsel to IFC and IFC Asset Management Company.

Topics: International Finance Corp. , Voyager Innovations Inc. , PLDT Inc. , Manuel Pangilinan
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