Two more Chinese tech companies get buyout offers from CEOs

Updated: 2015-07-10 10:26


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Two more Chinese tech companies get buyout offers from CEOs

An advertisement for online shopping site is pictured at a subway station in Shanghai, December 2, 2011.[Photo/IC]

Chinese video streaming website operator YY Inc and online retailer E-Commerce China DangDang Inc, on Thursday, became the latest in a string of Chinese companies to get offers to be taken private.

Chairman Jun Lei and Chief Executive David Li offered to take YY private in a deal valuing it at about $3.69 billion, while E-Commerce China CEO Guoqing Li and Chairwoman Peggy Yu Yu offered $7.812 per ADS for the online book and media retailer.

The proposals come against a backdrop of US-listed Chinese stocks taking a beating on the bourses in the past few weeks, mirroring a fall in Chinese stock markets.

About 30 percent has been knocked off the value of Chinese shares since mid-June.

E-Commerce China and YY have fallen 36.1 percent and 21.6 percent, respectively, since markets closed on June 25.

"The two stocks got hammered over the past several sessions, so I think management believes the price is low so they take this opportunity to offer a private proposal," Summit Research analyst Henry Guo told Reuters.

A string of Chinese tech companies have received proposals to drop their US listings and go private after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang encouraged companies to return to China as part of a plan to promote domestic listings.

Tech executives at several Chinese companies are betting on higher valuations back home and many also hope to avoid any legal fallout when Beijing formally outlaws foreign shareholder control of firms in protected tech sectors.

Lei and Li's cash offer of $68.50 per ADS for YY is at a premium of 17.4 percent to the stock's Wednesday close. The company had 53.8 million outstanding American Depositary Shares as of March 31, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Li and Lei already own about 35.7 percent of YY's shares, representing about three-fourth of the aggregate voting power, the company said on Thursday.

The offer for E-Commerce China is at a 20 percent premium to its closing price on Wednesday. Guoqing Li and Yu Yu already own about 35.9 percent of the company, and control about 83.5 percent of the voting power.

E-Commerce China's shares rose as much as 9.7 percent to $7.14 on the New York Stock exchange, while YY's shares were up as much as 6.9 percent to $62.35 on the Nasdaq.

Both companies said they would form special committees to evaluate the offers.