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Shares of LendingClub Corporation (NYSE: LC) are on the move, rising about 10% as of 3:30 p.m. EST after a major shareholder filed a revised 13D filing showing an increased stake in the company. Shanda Media Limited, led by Chinese billionaire Chen Tianqiao, recently added to its position in LendingClub stock, purchasing 4 million shares on Dec. 7.
Tianqiao burst onto the LendingClub scene in 2016, when Shanda Media Limited filed its first 13D filing, showing that it owned nearly 12% of the online consumer lender. The shares were purchased as LendingClub's stock cratered because of the abrupt resignation of its CEO, Renaud Laplanche.
The investor added to its stake shortly after LendingClub's chief executive departed, disclosing in June 2016 that it owned 57.7 million shares, or 15.1% of LendingClub's outstanding stock. LendingClub said in 2016 that it was in discussions with Shanda Media about its investment in the company, and that it viewed the investor's "actions as an endorsement of the long-term prospects and value of our business model." Since then, however, neither company has had anything to say publicly about one another.
Shanda broke the silence with action last Thursday, when it purchased 4 million LendingClub shares at a weighted average price of approximately $3.80. Its stake now stands at 61.7 million shares, or 14.9% of the company. Its stake decreased in percentage terms because of an increase in the number of LendingClub shares outstanding since its previous filing.
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At the time of its original investment, Shanda Media expressed an interest in being a purely passive investor in the company. That may change as LendingClub shares teeter near an all-time low, and well below Shanda Media's average cost basis of approximately $4.78 per share.
Wall Street interpreted another investment by LendingClub's largest shareholder as a positive sign for the company. Shares of the online lender have suffered in 2017 because of repeated reductions in company guidance, and questions about the quality of the company's underwriting practices, particularly as it relates to subprime consumer credits.
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