July 6, 2020 / 2:57 PM / a month ago

Weibo-owner Sina gets buyout bid at 12% premium from CEO-led company

Sina Weibo's booth is pictured at the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) 2017 in Beijing, China April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Files

(Reuters) - Sina Corp (SINA.O), the owner of social media platform Weibo, said on Monday it had received a go-private offer of $41 per share in cash from a holding company led by its Chief Executive Officer Charles Chao.

The transaction stands at a value of about $2.7 billion, according to Reuters calculations based on the current outstanding shares and represents a premium of nearly 12% as of Thursday’s stock closing price.

New Wave, which is controlled by Chao, already owns 12.15% stake in Sina, according to Refinitiv-Eikon data.

The interest in Chinese take-private deals has been rising following tensions between China and the United States, with several companies considering whether to keep a New York listing or move instead to Shanghai, Shenzhen or Hong Kong.

Sina said in a statement that its Board had formed a special committee consisting of independent directors to evaluate the proposed deal. U.S.-listed shares of the Chinese online media company were up about 9% in early trading.

Last month, online classifieds 58.com Inc (WUBA.N) and car comparison website Bitauto Holdings Ltd (BITA.N) also agreed to be taken private.

(Corrects to Thursday’s stock closing price from Friday in second paragraph and corrects syntax in first paragraph)

Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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