Alibaba.com Ltd. (1688), a unit of China’s biggest e-commerce company , won support from funds advised by Davidson Kempner European Partners LLP for a $2.5 billion buyout offer from the parent.
“Several” funds holding a combined 228.6 million Alibaba.com shares will vote for the offer from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. according to a letter from Davidson Kempner yesterday. It didn’t identify the funds. Of the shares, 156.4 million carry voting rights, according to the document, posted on Alibaba.com’s website.
Alibaba Group, part-owned by Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO:US) and Softbank Corp. (9984), plans to take Alibaba.com private as a change in the unit’s business strategy may hurt revenue, the parent said in February. First-quarter profit at the Hong Kong-listed subsidiary fell 25 percent as it sold fewer website subscriptions to Chinese exporters.
The parent is offering HK$13.50 a share in the buyout. Alibaba.com closed unchanged at HK$13.30 in Hong Kong trading yesterday, before the announcement, compared with a 1.2 percent decline in the city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index.
Stockholders of Alibaba.com will vote on the buyout proposal at a May 25 meeting in Hong Kong.
Alibaba Group is offering as much as HK$19.6 billion ($2.5 billion) to buy the Alibaba.com shares it doesn’t own, it said Feb. 21. The HK$13.50 a share offer is 46 percent more than the closing price before the stock was suspended on Feb. 9 pending the offer announcement.
Alibaba.com is a website focused on business owners. Alibaba Group’s other units include Taobao, China’s biggest online shopping site.
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