Powerhouse stake bought cheap by Chinese investor
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.