Deals of the week: FinTech, E-Commerce Logistics and Telecoms

The past week has not seen the mega-deals that have become customary in a dynamic first half of this year but Asia continues to represent a large share of acquisitions, providing ever more opportunities for corporate finance boutiques in the region. Chinese major Alibaba is turning to international logistics to support its recent vast array of acquisitions, while Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn has expanded its reach in the mobile operator space to diversify its offerings. FinTech remains one of the most active segments, increasingly becoming an essential market for business transfer agents. Financial services firm Intuit notched another deal in the segment, improving its mobile platforms.

Intuit focuses on mobile uptake

Financial services company Intuit has already notched several deals in 2014 and the company continues to make strides in a vibrant FinTech space. Mobile offerings are becoming increasingly diversified and key to improving financial services options to consumers. Intuit has recognised this by acquiring mobile payments app Check for $360 million. Intuit’s present consumer-focused mobile financial offerings Mint and Quicken,  which help users organise their financial transactions, are some of the most popular FinTech platforms on the market but they have limited payment capabilities. Check is expected to help correct this as well as provide access to 10 million registered users.

Alibaba focuses on international logistics

Chinese behemoth Alibaba has been one of the most active acquirers in the world in 2014 and the company is increasingly looking to rollout its massive retailing capabilities on an international level. The first step has been announcing the company’s imminent IPO in the US, the second is developing logistics throughout Asia and the wider marketplace. To this end, Alibaba has paid $249 million for a 10.5% stake in Singapore Post Limited (SingPost), which has a bonded warehouse at Singapore’s Changi Airport and another being built in Malaysia. The stake will allow Alibaba to store and transport goods via these locations without paying tax and help develop an international distribution network. At present, Alibaba is almost entirely dependent on the Chinese market for revenues, with only 10% of turnover represented by foreign markets. The deal marks an important step in developing Alibaba’s logistics across South East Asia and lessening a reliance on third parties.

Taiwanese major strengthens 4G delivery

Manufacturing major Foxconn, based in Taiwan, continues to make inroads into high-speed mobile broadband 4G networks as part of its 10-year strategy to double annual revenues. The company has paid $390 million for an undisclosed stake in Taiwanese mobile telecom operator Asia Pacific Telecom, which is set to help diversify Foxconn away from manufacturing and towards telecom services. Foxconn has already secured a licence for 4G spectrum in Taiwan. Asia Pacific Telecom is ultimately projected to merge with Foxconn subsidiary Ambit Microsystems.

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