Billionaire Said to Consider IPO for Owner of Friendster

Malaysian billionaire Vincent Tan is considering listing his online payments company MOL Global Pte, four years after it bought social networking site Friendster Inc., three people with knowledge of the matter said.

Tan is holding preliminary discussions with banks for a dual listing on Kuala Lumpur’s stock exchange and either Hong Kong or Singapore, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified as the process is private. An initial public offering may raise as much as $300 million in the first half of next year, they said.

MOL Global, which was founded in 2000, handles more than 60 million payments yearly totaling at least $300 million, according to its website. In 2009, it bought Friendster, owner of one of the world’s oldest social networking sites, to tap into its Asian subscriber base. It has since turned it primarily into an Internet gaming network.

Ganesh Kumar Bangah, MOL Global’s group chief executive officer, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail and phone call to his office in Kuala Lumpur.

An MOL Global IPO would be the latest listing by Tan, the founder of Malaysia’s Berjaya Group which has interests including property, car dealerships and lotteries. He’s currently seeking a listing of 7-11 store operator Seven Convenience Bhd., which could raise about 750 million ringgit ($233 million), people familiar with the matter said in August.

Earlier this year, he completed first-time share sales for Caring Pharmacy Group Bhd., which raised 43.8 million ringgit, and Berjaya Auto Bhd., which raised 57.9 million ringgit, according to their respective listing prospectuses.

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