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Alibaba to privatize its listed B2B portal in HKSE

Feb. 22, 2012 (China Knowledge) - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd yesterday announced plans to privatize Hong Kong-listed B2B portal Ltd<1688>, China's top e-commerce operator, at a consideration of US$2.3 billion.

According to the plans, Alibaba Group will offer HK$13.50 apiece to acquire the remaining 27% stakes it does not hold in, a premium of 46% before trading suspension on Feb. 9 but nearly unchanged to the firm's IPO price five years ago.

Capital for the privatization comes from loans offered by a consortium, including Australia and New Zealand Group, Credit Suisse Group AG, Singapore-based DBS Bank Ltd, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings Plc<0005> and Mizuho Financial Group.

Taking private will keep the parent co away from pressures of a publicly listed firm, said Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma, adding that the privatization will allow the group to make long-term decisions.

Analysts said the move is a further step for Alibaba Group to buy back its shares, equivalent to 40% interests, owned by Yahoo Inc.
In the fourth quarter of 2011,'s net profit reduced to RMB 385.95 million with revenue up 9.2% year on year to RMB 1.66 billion. The company had RMB 11.7 billion in cash at the end of last year.

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