UPDATE 1-China’s Gome says to raise $200 mln through debt sale to Pinduoduo

(Updates with Pinduoduo and Gome statements)

SHANGHAI, April 19 (Reuters) – Chinese electronics retailer Gome Retail Holding on Sunday said it would raise $200 million through a convertible bond issue that will be entirely taken up by e-commerce platform Pinduoduo.

The deal comes as the COVID-19 pandemic, which first emerged in China last December, has sent a shudder through the global retail industry.

Pinduoduo also earlier this month raised $1.1 billion in a private share placement and the deal will mark its first investment in another company since the e-commerce platform was founded in 2015.

The bonds will carry a coupon of 5% per annum and a tenure of 3 years, which Pinduoduo can opt to extend by two years, Pinduoduo said in a separate statement.

They are convertible at HK$1.215 per share, 66.4% higher than the electronics retailer’s closing share price of HK$0.73 on Friday, and 1.28 billion Gome shares or about 5.6% of its existing issued share capital, will be alloted, they said.

“Gome wins because they can broaden their access to our 585.2 million users and PDD wins because we enhance our foothold in household appliances and electronics,” Pinduoduo’s Vice President of Strategy David Liu said.

Gome said “the subscription offers a good opportunity to raise additional funds to strengthen the financial position and broaden the capital base of the group so as to facilitate its future development”.

The two companies on March 31 jointly held a promotion to give away 500 million yuan worth of discounts and consumption subsidies on more than 6,000 items, joining other firms such as Suning.com and Alibaba Group Holdings’ Alipay that have rolled out similar campaigns to try and stimulate consumption during the virus outbreak. (Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Alex Richardson and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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