Foxconn taps natural gas market with purchase of HK$1.48 billion stake in Hong Kong’s IDG Energy

Deal makes Taiwanese electronics manufacturer IDG’s second-largest shareholder

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 December, 2017, 7:01pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 December, 2017, 10:03pm

Foxconn Technology will buy a 24.4 per cent stake in Hong Kong-based oil and gas company IDG Energy Investment for a combined HK$1.48 billion (US$190 million), in a move that signals the Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer’s entry into the natural gas market.

Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, will become IDG’s second-largest shareholder.

Shares in IDG, which has mainly been involved in the exploration and production of crude oil in mainland China, briefly spiked by 31 per cent on Thursday to HK$1.79. They ended the day at HK$1.48, up 8 per cent from their previous close.

IDG has signed an agreement to issue 297 million ordinary shares each to five Foxconn subsidiaries, it said on Thursday. Each of these shares is worth HK$1. After the acquisition, Titan Gas, IDG’s parent company and biggest shareholder, will see its stake shrink to 36.77 per cent from 48.62 per cent.

Terry Gou, the Foxconn chairman, has previously said the company would diversify beyond electronics manufacturing. In June, Foxconn signed an agreement with the local government in Kunshan, Jiangsu province, to invest 25 billion yuan (US$3.78 billion) in research centres and production bases that will focus on developing green energy cars, batteries, internet of things and other technologies.

“The new shareholder [Foxconn], as a world-class multinational group and one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers, can bring strategic value adding and unique resources to the company,” said IDG.

“The company [IDG] expects that its business development and operations will benefit from Foxconn Technology’s global network, customer resources, public relationship as well as its leading experience of operational excellence.”

IDG plans to use the net proceeds from the deal to invest in the natural gas industry along its value chain, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal projects, expanding its business through investments in other oil and gas projects, and making other investments for the future development of the company.

It said it will continue to look for opportunities to invest in natural gas and LNG projects in China and North America, and enhance its asset portfolio and overall return on investments.

“The company [IDG] believes that natural gas will be an attractive sector of energy with potential opportunities,” IDG said, adding that it has been involved in the industry, with a focus on China’s domestic market, since the first half of 2017.

Elsewhere, Foxconn subsidiary Foxconn Industrial Internet (FII) applied to list on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. When FII is listed, Foxconn Technology will maintain ownership of 85 per cent of the entity’s shares.

FII’s listing in Shanghai is part of the company’s long-term strategic development plan. It is also in line with the continuous investments Foxconn is making to grow its presence in China, the United States, Japan, Europe and other markets internationally.

Foxconn’s shares in Taipei rose by 0.6 per cent to 86.1 new Taiwan dollars on Thursday.

With additional reporting by Celia Chen in Shenzhen