Why I’m holding my Afterpay (ASX:APT) shares: expert

Shareholders have a lovely dilemma. Here’s a case for holding onto the buy now, pay later stock.

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Ever since Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) announced in August that US fintech Square Inc (NYSE: SQ) would buy it out, shareholders have had a dilemma.

It’s a pretty enviable ‘problem’ though. Do you sell your Afterpay shares or hold onto them to convert into Square stock?

One of Afterpay’s biggest fans, Frazis Capital Partners portfolio manager Michael Frazis, revealed last month that his team took the money and ran.

“We sold our Afterpay shares,” Frazis said.

“We owned about 6% in Square, which is one of our largest positions… We’re going to maintain 6% or 7% in Square,… which we think is about right.”

Keeping some Afterpay shares up her sleeve

However, Tribeca Investment Partners portfolio manager Jun Bei Liu told The Motley Fool this week that she had the opposite idea.

“We took some profit but we still remain a shareholder of Afterpay,” she told Ask A Fund Manager this week. 

“I’m still not ruling out that there might be somebody else that will come in to bid for Afterpay — just simply because Afterpay is a first mover and is the market leader in this space. It’s the innovator, and also is the one with the most active user within its ecosystem.”

Ophir Asset Management co-founders Andrew Mitchell and Steven Ng took a similar view to Liu.

“We still own Afterpay in case a bidding war breaks out with potential suitors such as Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) or PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: PYPL),” said the fund managers last month.

“Further consolidation in the BNPL industry will likely follow with perhaps 2 to 3 key players left at maturity.”

Liu told The Motley Fool that her team sold down partially because Square is a broader business than Afterpay.

“Though we believe it’s a really great thing for Afterpay to move to the next level, it does reduce that buy now, pay later exposure,” she said.

“Because it’s now part of a bigger group and Square does make quite a lot of money from Bitcoin and a lot of other things. That is quite different from what we used to invest in.”

Square’s $39 billion takeover of the Australian buy now, pay later player is expected to wrap up early in the new year.

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Motley Fool contributor Tony Yoo owns shares of PayPal Holdings and Square. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended AFTERPAY T FPO, Apple, PayPal Holdings, and Square. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has recommended the following options: long January 2022 $75 calls on PayPal Holdings, long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple, and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended AFTERPAY T FPO. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Apple and PayPal Holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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