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EQT to invest in VBill, a leading third-party payment service provider in China

  • EQT Mid Market Asia has signed an agreement to acquire 10% primary shares in VBill, a leading third-party payment service provider in China with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises
  • EQT will support VBill’s continued customer base growth across city tiers and potential international expansion to become the go-to payment platform with comprehensive product offerings to support merchants
  • EQT is partnering with VBill’s founding management and its parent company, Hi Sun Technology, to jointly drive VBill’s next growth phase

The EQT Mid Market Asia III fund (“EQT” or “EQT Mid Market Asia”) has signed an agreement to acquire 10% primary shares in VBill Limited (“VBill” or the “Company”), a leading third-party payment service provider and merchant acquirer in China with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”). The management team, under the joint leadership of SHEN Zheng, Chairman, LI Huimin, CEO, GUO Yi, Vice President, XUE Guangyu, Vice President, and GE Xiaoxia, CFO, together with EQT and VBill’s parent company, Hi Sun Technology (China) Limited (“Hi Sun Technology”, 818.SEHK), will drive the Company’s next phase of growth.

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Beijing, VBill offers a full range of payment solutions, including bank card acquiring, omni-channel payment, Internet payment and others. By leveraging its extensive merchant base, VBill also provides value-add services, such as fintech-enabled consumer lending. Under the leadership of the founding management team, possessing more than 20 years of industry experience, VBill has achieved remarkable growth since inception, and is today a leading merchant acquirer with a comprehensive service offering, large merchant base and innovative and extensive sales network.

With a strong management team and the support and relevant payment services experience from EQT’s Industrial Network, VBill is well-positioned to capture the attractive growth opportunities in the large and fast-growing third-party payment market in China. The strategy includes continued expansion into lower-tier cities and penetration in SMEs, leveraging the existing network to continue developing consumer lending business, and opportunistically identifying overseas expansion opportunities in Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

SHEN Zheng, Chairman of VBill, said: “We are thrilled to have EQT as our strategic partner for VBill’s next growth phase. With EQT’s global and Chinese corporate governance and service sector experience, we are well-positioned to become the go-to payment service provider for local merchants and pursue overseas expansion opportunities.”

Martin Mok, Partner, Head of EQT Mid Market Asia and Investment Advisor to EQT Mid Market Asia III, concluded: “The management team has led the Company to achieve remarkable growth and become a top player in the sector. EQT looks forward to the new partnership and is fully committed to supporting the management team to continue delivering consistent growth and value creation through various expansion strategies.”

VBill’s implied total equity value in this investment is estimated to be up to RMB 5,880 million (USD 876 million), subject to the audited net income for the fiscal year of 2018. The Company processed over RMB 1.1 trillion (USD 170 billion) transaction value and recorded annual sales of RMB 1.7 billion (USD 254 million) and net income of RMB 190 million (USD 28 million) in 2017. Sales has grown at 2015-17A CAGR of 106% from RMB 402 million in 2015. NPAT has grown at 2015-17A CAGR of 102% from RMB 47 million in 2015. As of September 2018, VBill had 948 employees. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2019, subject to completion of restructuring.

Contacts
Martin Mok, Partner, Head of EQT Mid Market Asia and Investment Advisor to EQT Mid Market Asia III, +852 6303 3077
EQT Press Office, press@eqtpartners.com, +46 8 506 553 34

About EQT
EQT is a leading investment firm with more than EUR 50 billion in raised capital across 28 funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 19 billion and approximately 110,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtpartners.com

About VBill
VBill is a leading independent third-party payment service provider in mainland China, present in over 200 cities and serving over 2.8 million active merchants. Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Beijing, VBill is fully licensed to conduct bank card acquiring, internet payment, mobile payment, cross border RMB settlement, and internet micro-lending services.

More info: www.vbill.cn 

About Hi Sun Technology
Hi Sun Technology (stock code: 818.HK) is a leading integrated solutions provider of payments, finance, and telecommunications in China. Hi Sun Technology is principally engaged in the provision of payment processing solutions, financial solutions, platform operation solutions, as well as sales of information security chips and solutions, and electronic power meters and solutions.

More info: www.hisun.com.hk