TCL Communications Sells Off Half of Its Business

A year after its privatisation and less than a year after its manufacturing deal with BlackBerry, TCL Corp has announced it will sell 49% of its smartphone unit shares to three strategic investors for a reported HK$490 million ($62.75 million).

Unisplendour Technology Venture Capital, an investment branch of Tsinghua Unigroup, a telecoms specialist with connections to Tsinghua University, will purchase an 18% share for HK$180 million ($23.05 million).

An 18% share will also go to the Oriente Grande Investment Fund for the same price, while Vivid Victory Developments will purchase a 13% share for HK$130 million ($16.65 million).

BlackBerry Motion, the first keyboard-less BlackBerry, launches this month.

The company’s value has dropped substantially since it was privatised a year ago, from HK$7 billion ($896 million) at the time of privatisation, to its latest valuation of HK$1 billion ($128 million).

TCL Communication Technology posted its results for the first half of 2017, showing significant losses. The company announced revenue between January and June of CNY6.87 billion ($1.06 billion), a decline of 26.1% year-on-year. The company also posted net losses for the first half of 2017 of CNY852 million ($129.3 million).

The sale of shares to strategic partners is part of TCL’s plan to improve performance and competitiveness in the sector.