Investor group offers to buy Focus Media

AP News
Posted: Aug 13, 2012 11:38 AM
Investor group offers to buy Focus Media

Chinese digital media company Focus Media Holding Ltd. said Monday that it received a proposal from a group of investors including its chief executive to buy the company and take it private in a cash deal that values the company at $3.49 billion.

The group includes affiliates of FountainVest Partners, The Carlyle Group, CITIC Capital Partners, CDH Investments and China Everbright Ltd., along with Focus Chairman and CEO Jason Nanchun Jiang.

In its letter, the group offers to acquire all of company's shares not currently owned by its chairman for $27 per U.S. share or $5.40 per ordinary share. The offer represents a 15 percent premium over Focus' Friday closing U.S. share price of $23.38. Focus shares rose 9 percent on the news.

Based on the company's 129.3 million U.S. shares, the offer values the company at $3.49 billion. The group said it plans form a company for the purpose of acquiring Focus and plans to finance the proposed deal with a combination of cash and debt.

The group's members said in their letter to Focus' board that they have been in talks with Citigroup Global Markets Asia Ltd., Credit Suisse AG, Singapore Branch and DBS Bank Ltd. and those banks have indicated that they will be able to finance the purchase.

The company said its board has formed a committee of independent directors to consider the offer.

Focus shares rose $2.15, or 9.2 percent, to $25.53 in morning trading.