Alibaba group may take unit private for $2.3 billion: report

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 15, 2012 8:34 PM

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba may take its Hong Kong-listed unit Alibaba.com Ltd private at about the price of its 2007 initial public offering for about HK$18 billion ($2.3 billion), the Hong Kong Economic Times reported on Thursday, citing sources.

The newspaper said Alibaba might offer HK$13.50 each for all outstanding shares it did not already own in the unit, equivalent to the November 2007 IPO price.

Alibaba officials declined to comment.

The offer would represent a 46 percent premium over the last closing price of the Hong Kong-listed unit, the paper said. Alibaba Group owns 73 percent of the listed unit.

Alibaba plans to take its Hong Kong-listed unit private, two sources familiar with the matter said earlier this month, as part of a complex deal that would strengthen founder Jack Ma's control and give key stakeholder Yahoo Inc cash and a direct stake in one of Alibaba's operating businesses.

Talks between Yahoo and Alibaba over the U.S. Internet giant's Asian assets have hit an impasse, throwing their plans for a $17 billion tax-free asset swap into question, according to sources briefed on the situation this week.

(Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Chris Lewis)