Alibaba presses 'play' on multi-billion video host buy

Youku Tudou borged into Chinese 'net giant

China's Alibaba is going to sling roughly US$3.67 billion at the country's “YouTube equivalent”, Youku Tudou, to buy a half-billion video clicks via the 80-plus per cent of the company it doesn't already own.

The South China Morning Post says the Middle Kingdom's “largest online video services provider” will be taken private after the deal is completed.

Youku Tudou currently trades on the New York Stock Exchange.

The proposal was first announced on October 15, with Youku's board of directors now agreeing that the offer of $27.60 per American depository share – a premium of more than 35 per cent over the October 15 closing price – is good value.

The offer is a 13 per cent premium over the trading price last Thursday, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Prior to the deal, Alibaba owned 18.3 per cent of the video host, after a $1.2 billion May 2014 deal in partnership with Yunfeng Capital (a private equity firm co-founded by Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma Yun).

Youku Tudou claims more than 500 million monthly unique visitors and 170 million daily visitors, and the SCMP cites Barclays data giving it a strong position in mobile, holding the number three spot for time spent on mobile apps in China. ®

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