Pow­er­house stake bought cheap by Chi­nese in­vestor

Waikato Times - - Business -

A Chi­nese in­vestor, United World Group (UWG), may be poised to take over Christchuch-based Pow­er­house Ven­tures, which has share­hold­ings in 26 fledg­ling tech­nol­ogy firms, many of them seed-funded by Kiwi tax­pay­ers. The star­tups have been spun out of New Zealand uni­ver­si­ties with fund­ing from Crown in­vestor Cal­laghan In­no­va­tion and the New Zealand Ven­ture In­vest­ment Fund. UWG has taken ad­van­tage of crises af­fect­ing Pow­er­house that slashed its share price from A$1.07 at the end of 2016 to just 15 cents. UWG, con­trolled by China-based Hong Wang, took a 19.1 per cent stake when shares be­came avail­able as a re­sult of an es­crow end­ing, and is now in a po­si­tion to launch a full takeover. Un­der stock ex­change rules an in­vestor must launch a full takeover be­yond 20 per cent. UWG paid A$874,350 for the 5,557,576 shares, which 18 months ago would have cost nearly $6 mil­lion. The in­ten­tions of the new in­vestor are un­clear.

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