Malaysian online payment company MOL Global files for U.S. IPO-Reuters

Online payment company MOL Global Inc, majority-owned by Malaysian billionaire Vincent Tan, filed with U.S. regulators on Monday to raise about $300 million in an initial public offering of American Depositary Shares.

Also known as Money Online, MOL is expanding in Southeast Asia and plans to tap Malaysian government’s push to drive e-payments in preparation for a new consumption tax that kicks in next year.

Tan, one of Malaysia’s richest men who made a fortune running businesses from lotteries to hotels, owns a 69.3 percent stake in the company.

MOL, which snapped up Friendster Inc – one of the earliest social networking sites – in 2009 to boost its online reach, said in January it processes an annual payment volume of over half a billion U.S. dollars.

MOL is the largest e-payment enabler for online goods and services in Southeast Asia by payment volume, according to market research firm Frost & Sullivan. MOL is also present in India and Australia. It turned its focus to the U.S. and Brazilian markets by taking up a majority stake in Silicon Valley-based e-payment company Rixty Inc in 2012 for an undisclosed sum.

The company reported revenue of 171.5 million Malaysian Ringgit ($54 million) for 2013, a 79.4 percent rise from the previous year.

MOL’s profit rose to 18.7 million Malaysian Ringgit in 2013 from 6 million a year earlier.

Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank Securities and UBS Investment Bank are underwriting the IPO, the Kuala Lumpur-based company told the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission in a preliminary prospectus.

The company said it intends to use the proceeds from the offering to repay debt and for general corporate purposes.

The filing did not reveal how many shares the company planned to sell or their expected price. The company said it intends to list its ADSs on the Nasdaq but did not reveal its symbol in the filing.

The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.