China’s top venture capitalist Neil Shen sells Meituan stock for US$799 million, according to stock exchange filings

  • Shen, a founder and managing partner at venture capital firm Sequoia Capital China, sold a total of 42.96 million shares in Meituan
  • Some of Sequoia’s other big bets in the tech sector include Shein, Alibaba and JD.com

Neil Shen Nanpeng, China’s top venture capitalist and a director of Chinese delivery services giant Meituan, has sold stock in the Hong Kong-listed company to cash in HK$6.23 billion (US$798.72 million), according to stock exchange filings on Tuesday.

Shen, a founder and managing partner at venture capital firm Sequoia Capital China, sold a total of 42.96 million shares in Meituan over April 27 and 29, via funds held by his firm. Shen sold 42.46 million shares on April 27 at an average price of HK$144.78, and sold 500,000 shares on April 29 at HK$159.5.

The sales generated HK$6.23 billion in proceeds, based on data from his filings to the Hong Kong stock exchange. The sale reduces his shareholding in Meituan from 3.98 per cent to 3.19 per cent.

Shen is arguably the most powerful venture capital investor in China‘s tech industry, and the Yale graduate was named No. 2 on the 2021 Forbes Midas List of the world’s best venture capital investors. He was No. 1 on the list for three consecutive years previously.

Shen has sold Meituan shares 15 times since May last year, with his shareholding reduced from a previous 7.05 per cent to the current level, according to filings to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Sequoia Capital China is a Beijing-based venture capital firm that seeks to invest in the agriculture, distribution, B2B, education, retail, energy, financial services, healthcare and technology sectors – primarily via Chinese companies. It operates as a subsidiary of Menlo Park, California-based Sequoia Capital.

Some of Sequoia’s most high-profile bets include Shein, a Chinese online-only retailer of inexpensive fast-fashion clothes, as well as e-commerce giants Alibaba Group Holding and JD.com, short video operators ByteDance and Kuaishou, Shenzhen-based drone maker DJI and ride-hailing platform Didi Chuxing. Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.

Shen is also co-founder of Nasdaq and Hong Kong-listed travel company Ctrip.com and Nasdaq-listed company Home Inns, a budget hotel chain on the mainland.

Meituan closed 0.23 per cent higher on Tuesday at HK$172.4. The company’s share price has dropped 41 per cent over the past year period alongside a slide for other mainland tech stocks amid a sustained regulatory crackdown by Beijing on the sector.

Shen’s sale of Meituan stock on Friday came as the stock advanced 15.5 per cent on the day amid speculation that Beijing is about to ease its crackdown on the tech sector amid rising headwinds, allowing internet platforms a bigger role in supporting the overall economy.

Author: Enoch Yiu, SCMP

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