Feb. 22, 2012 (China Knowledge) - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd yesterday announced plans to privatize Hong Kong-listed
B2B portal Alibaba.com 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 Alibaba.com, 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 Alibaba.com 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, Alibaba.com'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.