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Tuesday, July 07, 2020, 16:44
Sina gets US$41-a-share buyout proposal from CEO's company
By Bloomberg
Tuesday, July 07, 2020, 16:44 By Bloomberg

Sina Corp, a Chinese social media company, has received a take-private proposal for US$41 a share from an entity led by its chairman.

The company said in a statement Monday that New Wave MMXV Ltd, the anglicized name of Sina, submitted a preliminary non-binding proposal letter dated Monday for a “going private” transaction. New Wave is controlled by Charles Chao, chairman and chief executive officer of Sina, according to the statement.

At US$41, the US-listed company would be valued at about US$2.7 billion, an 11.8 percent premium on its last closing price on Thursday

At US$41, the US-listed company would be valued at about US$2.7 billion, an 11.8 percent premium on its last closing price on Thursday.

READ MORE: As US tightens scrutiny of IPOs, Chinese firms must tread carefully

Sina operates Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter. The firm was among the first wave of Chinese internet companies to seek listings internationally at the beginning of the century. It went public on the Nasdaq in 2000, with its shares rising 174 percent since then. The S&P 500 Index rose 116 percent during the same period.

With the encouragement of China’s government and to be closer to their customers, some US-listed Chinese companies have reversed course and sought homecomings via listings in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in the past year. That includes Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, JD.com Inc and NetEase Inc.

Chao controls 13.5 percent of Sina’s ordinary shares, according to a filing. Sina said in its statement that New Wave and its beneficiaries control 58 percent of the voting power in the company. The acquisition, to be financed by a combination of debt and equity, will be evaluated by a special committee set up by Sina’s board, according to the statement.

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An investor group backed by private equity firms Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic offered in June to take private 58.com Inc, a Chinese online bulletin board akin to Craigslist, in a deal valuing the company at about US$8.7 billion.

Sina shares jumped as much as 10.8 percent on Monday after the announcement disclosing the offer. They closed at US$40.54 in New York.

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