Alibaba Brilliantly Pays Up for Youku While E-House CEO Brilliantly Lowers LBO …

9 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd to buy ‘China’s YouTube’ for US$3.7B, continuing push into Chinese digital media.

Shares in online video platform Youku Tudou were up 8.12 per cent to US$26.35 in mid-afternoon trading in New York on Friday after the company arrived at a takeover deal with e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding.

The Alibaba Group, the Chinese e-commerce giant, announced Friday that it has reached a deal to buy Youku Tudou, one of China’s leading online video sites, which is said to reach more than half a billion users. It is also a vote of confidence in China’s economy by Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma, who has said investors should not overreact to his country’s slowing growth. Shares in Alibaba, which already held a one-fifth stake in the company, initially gained on the news but was down 3.69 per cent at US$82.23 at 1.30pm. Since then, the company has used that war chest to spread its footing through acquisitions and investments in businesses like Jet (for e-commerce in the U.S.), Lyft and Didi Kuaidi (for ride-hailing around the world) and Peel (for the connected home).

Youku Tudou Chief Executive Victor Koo, a Bain & Co alumnus who owns about 18 per cent of Youku Tudou, will remain CEO of Youku Tudou after the deal closes in the first quarter of 2016. “With Alibaba’s support, Youku Tudou’s future as the leading multi-screen entertainment and media platform in China has been firmly secured,” Koo said in a statement. Formerly bitter rivals, Youku – which means “what’s best and what’s cool” in Chinese – merged with Tudou (“potato”) in a deal worth over US$1 billion in 2012.

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