The Wall Street Journal: Qihoo gets $9 billion buyout offer from CEO
BEIJING—China’s buyout wave has reached a new, $ 9 billion high.
Internet-services provider Qihoo 360 Technology Co. QIHU, +6.21% said Wednesday it received a buyout offer from a group that includes Chairman and Chief Executive Zhou Hongyi valued at $ 9.01 billion, or $ 77 per American depositary share. The offer marks a 17% premium over Tuesday’s closing price of $ 66.05, and if successful would be the largest take-private deal of a U.S.-listed Chinese company.
The proposed deal marks a new peak among a slew of recent offers to take U.S.-traded Chinese companies private. Bankers and analysts say China’s surging stock market is the main reason for the go-private movement. China’s major stock index is up more than 50% so far this year, while private money aimed at China has helped closely held startups such as Xiaomi Corp. and Didi Kuaidi Joint Co. fetch valuations in the tens of billions of dollars. Bankers say many companies are going private intending to relist at home.
So far this year 14 U.S.-traded Chinese companies have received buyout offers in deals valued together at $ 22.44 billion, according to data provider Dealogic. That is nearly twice the value of buyouts over the previous six years combined. Most are Chinese Internet companies, with senior management included in the buyout group.
Deals proposed this year include a $ 3.3 billion offer by a group of investors including management for WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. Among others disclosed in recent weeks, Chinese budget hotel chain Homeinns Hotel Group HMIN, -1.82% said it received a $ 1 billion offer, while data-center firm 21Vianet Group Inc. VNET, -0.42% said it got a $ 2 billion offer and social-networking company Renren Inc. RENN, +0.76% said it received a $ 1.1 billion offer.
An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.