Chinese billionaire Chen Tianqiao has bought a close to 12 percent stake in Lending Club.
Singapore-based private investment group Shanda Group, which is led by Chen, said on Monday that it saw the online lender’s battered stock as an attractive buying opportunity.
The sale of the 11.7 percent stake comes as growth in Lending Club’s loan originations is slowing and regulatory interest in the sector is increasing.
Lending Club shares were up in yesterday’s trading. The stock had fallen more than 40 percent since the May 9 announcement of Chief Executive Officer Renaud Laplanche’s resignation after an internal investigation found the company had knowingly sold 22 million US$ of loans that did not match the buyer’s specifications.
‘We have been in discussions with Shanda regarding their investment, and we look forward to a continued dialogue with them,’ a Lending Club spokesman said.
Shanda Group said in a statement that it was a “strong believer” in the business model that Lending Club has pioneered and was “positive on its long-term prospects as it continues to evolve and refine its business.”
The company bought a total of about 29 million Lending Club shares for $148.7 million. It also has call options to buy 15.7 million shares for $11.2 million. Some of the shares were bought before Laplanche’s resignation but the bulk of the purchases were conducted after May 9th.
(Source: Reuters & other)