NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited ("NetDragon" or the "Company", Hong Kong Stock Code: 777), a global leader in building internet communities, is pleased to announce the signing of definitive agreements with Ascendent Capital Partners ("Ascendent") in connection with a USD 150 million strategic investment in NetDragon's education subsidiary.
The private convertible securities to be issued to Ascendent can be converted into the ordinary shares of NetDragon's education subsidiary at a valuation of USD 1.35 billion, and this strategic investment is part of the broader collaboration between NetDragon and Ascendent, an institutional investor with extensive experience and active investments in the Greater China education sector.
In recent years, NetDragon has emerged as a global leader within the education technology market. In addition to servicing educators and school districts in China with its unique offerings including the award-winning 101 Education PPT application and smart classroom solutions, the Company has also become a global platform with its acquisitions of Promethean, Edmodo and JumpStart, all of which are leading players in their respective business segments. Collectively, the platform has more than 13 million monthly active users and over 100 million registered users world-wide.
Ascendent, a private investment firm focused on Greater China-related investment opportunities, with a strong track record in the education sector, is regarded as a trusted partner by its portfolio companies, working with management teams to grow the underlying businesses and implement value-add initiatives to enhance operational and financial performance.
Ascendent's investment portfolio in the education sector covers kindergartens, learning centers, K-12 international schools, and study abroad service providers in the Greater China region. As part of our collaboration with Ascendent, NetDragon intends to bring its full suite of products and services to the students, teachers and parents within Ascendent's education portfolio network, and explore potential partnership opportunities with various Ascendent's portfolio companies.
Mr. Leon Meng, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ascendent, commented, "We believe in the vision and capabilities of NetDragon's management team to pursue innovative education technology solutions, and to improve the overall learning environment for students, teachers and parents around the world. We look forward to fully leveraging Ascendent's experience and expertise in the education sector to assist the Company in reaching its next stage of development."
Dr. Simon Leung, Vice Chairman of NetDragon, added, "We are excited to have Ascendent as both a financial and strategic partner, and believe that this investment will further springboard our developments in Asia while also supporting our broader vision of building a global, connected learning community."
The proceeds from the strategic investment by Ascendent will be used to support product development and growth strategies, as well as to fund potential acquisitions and investments in the education sector.
About Netdragon Websoft Holdings Limited
NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited (HKSE: 0777) is a global leader in building internet communities with a long track record of developing and scaling multiple internet and mobile platforms that impact hundreds of millions of users. These include China's number one online gaming portal, 17173.com, and China's most influential smartphone app store platform, 91 Wireless, which was sold to Baidu for US$1.9 billion in 2013 as the largest Internet M&A transaction in China.
Established in 1999, NetDragon is one of the most reputable and well-known online game developers in China with a history of successful game titles including Eudemons Online, Heroes Evolved and Conquer Online. In recent years, NetDragon has also started to scale its online education business on the back of management's vision to create the largest global online learning community, and to bring the "classroom of the future" to every school around the world. For more information, please visit www.netdragon.com.
About Ascendent Capital Partners
Ascendent Capital Partners ("Ascendent") is a private investment firm focused on Greater China-related investment opportunities. Managed by a team of experienced investors, the firm provides strategic advice and capital to businesses that are well positioned to capitalize on the domestic growth and consumption in the Greater China region, notably in the education, consumer, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing sectors. Ascendent has built a high-quality portfolio of companies led by world class entrepreneurs and executives that are based or active in China. For more information, please visit www.ascendentcp.com.
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