Pavel Durov held private negotiations with investors to raise funds that would be converted into shares in the course of a possible IPO, reports The Information.
According to one of the sources of the publication, we are talking about the amount of about $ 1 billion, but plans may change.
Under the terms of an agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States, Telegram was allowed to keep 30% of the $ 1.7 billion raised for the launch of the TON blockchain project. According to investors, part of the funds was paid, but the messenger remains in arrears to some European creditors, with whom Durov agreed to return the original amount with an interest of one tenth. How much money is still to be paid is unknown.
The Information reports that Telegram has been considering opportunities to raise funding for several months, but with the approach of April, when Durov has to pay off investors, the need for him has increased. In particular, we are talking about collecting several hundred million dollars through debt instruments, which will then be converted into shares during the IPO. Telegram spokesman Markus Ra said:
“Telegram is constantly contacted by many parties with proposals for debt financing. We are currently evaluating these proposals, but have not yet chosen a further path. The company is considering various options in accordance with its privacy-oriented idea, but will not undertake any obligations that would involve an exit event in any form. “
Such an event could mean a merger, sale or public listing, explains The Information.
Also, according to the publication, debt financing will allow Durov to maintain control over the messenger longer. To date, it has refused to sell shares to third-party investors, citing a desire for independence and the “lifetime guarantee” it has provided to its users in this regard.
The sale of convertible debt in anticipation of a potential listing on the stock market, the proceeds from which could further support the expansion of Telegram, will allow Durov to finance the company’s activities prior to listing. If it takes place, Durov could organize a structure with two classes of shares, thanks to which he will retain control over the company, for example, by putting up shares without voting rights.
Earlier, Durov announced that the number of active Telegram users per month exceeded 500 million, and in three days more than 25 million users were added to it. He noted that last year the average was 1.5 million new users per day.
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