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LendingClub climbs after Singapore investors increase holdings

[NEW YORK] LendingClub Corp, the marketplace lender that has plunged since the surprise resignation of its chief executive officer on May 9, climbed in New York trading after a Singapore-based investor disclosed a stake of as much as 11.7 per cent.

LendingClub gained 6.8 per cent to US$4.26 at 10:38 am, paring losses for the year to 61 per cent.

A group of four companies controlled by Tianqiao Chen, including Shanda Media Ltd, hold 29 million shares of LendingClub and 15.7 million options, according to a regulatory filing Monday from Mr Chen and the firms he controls. They paid US$148.7 million for the shares, including commissions, and an additional US$11.2 million for the options, according to the filing. If the options are exercised, Mr Chen's group would be LendingClub's largest shareholder, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

LendingClub stunned shareholders May 9 by announcing Renaud Laplanche, 45, its founder and CEO, had resigned after internal reviews. The board cited two incidents: The firm's staff altered application dates on US$3 million of loans before their sale, and Mr Laplanche failed to disclose his interests in a fund that LendingClub invested in.

The Shanda group said it may engage LendingClub's board, management and investors "concerning the business, operations, corporate governance or future plans of the issuer, may engage legal and financial advisers to assist them in such review, and may evaluate strategic alternatives that may become available in the future."

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LendingClub has "been in discussions with Shanda regarding their investment and we look forward to a continued dialogue with them," the San Francisco-based company said Monday in a statement.


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