Shanda Group has acquired an 11.7% stake in U.S. marketplace lender LendingClub, according to a regulatory filing from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The deal makes the Singapore-based investment company the largest shareholder of LendingClub.
The disclosure of the purchase, which was sealed in March and April, sent shares of the lending platform up more than 8% in pre-market trading on Monday, following a plunge after LendingClub’s founder Renaud Laplanche was forced to resign for violating the company’s business practices in a “non-conforming sale” of $22 million in loans.
According to Shanda, the purchase was made to invest in industries with “a large-scale and long-term, sustainable growth potential.”
Founded by Chinese billionaire Chen Tianqiao, Shanda started in 1999 and developed into a leading game maker in China. Shanda Group is a private investment firm that Chen runs in Singapore, which covers a diversified portfolio from media and technology to financial companies.
Although Shanda is best known as a game developer, the company has transformed into an investment company in recent years. Early this year, the company spun off its gaming business and currently does not hold any shares in Shanda Games, according to a company announcement.
Shanda has invested in more than 140 projects in the past decade, which include recent investments such as those in Legg Mason Inc. and Sotheby’s.