Chinese Internet giant Tencent is being tipped to buy a 15 percent stake in Malaysia’s loss-making Patimas Computers this week, according to a report by Malaysia news channel Astro AWANI, in a move that could speed up its services in the country.
The report cites sources in local Chinese daily China Press as saying that the deal could happen on Wednesday, though it wasn’t clear if Tencent would buy the stake directly or via another vehicle. There was also no mention of any possible price range for the deal.
The Chinese Internet firm was also reported to have bought a 5 percent stake in Patimas earlier this year via China Private Equity Investment Holdings.
Patimas Computers, a provider of information and communications technology in Malaysia, is listed on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia. It offers services including ICT business infrastructure and cloud services, which would likely contribute in boosting the speeds of WeChat and Tencent’s Internet services in the Southeast Asian nation.
Patimas has been struggling amid a decline in the computer-related product and services market, and as it got embroiled in the findings of an investigative audit that showed irregularities. For the financial year ended March 31, 2012, Patimas posted an audited net loss of RM86.5 million ($27.8 million) – nearly four times its unaudited net loss.
Tencent says its WeChat mobile messaging service (known as Weixin in China) has 194.4 million monthly active users and more than 400 million registered users, with an estimated 40 million users thought to be based overseas, while the remainder of the 300 million plus registered users are located in China. For the first quarter of 2013, the Chinese company posted profit of RMB 4.04 million ($645 million), up 16.8 percent on the last quarter.
We have reached out to Tencent for comment and will update this article with any response that the company provides.
Headline image via faykwong / Flickr