Warburg-backed Chinese classifieds firm 58.com to go private in $8.7b deal

FILE PHOTO: A view of the exterior of the Nasdaq market site in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., October 24, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

Chinese online classifieds 58.com Inc said on Monday it would be taken private by a consortium of investors, backed by private equity firms Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic, in a deal that valued the company at about $8.7 billion.

Private equity investors are actively seeking Chinese companies to take private in the hope they can snap up bargains amid the coronavirus-induced sell-off.

The interest in Chinese take-private deals has also 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.

58.com shareholders will get $56 in cash for each American depositary share, a premium of nearly 20% from when the company got the first take-private proposal in April.

The Nasdaq-listed firm’s shares rose more than 10% to $54.85 in early trading. The deal has been unanimously approved by the company’s board and is expected to close in the second half of 2020.

The take-private consortium includes Warburg Pincus Asia LLC, General Atlantic Singapore Fund Pte Ltd, Ocean Link Partners Ltd, 58.com Chief Executive Officer Jinbo Yao and Internet Opportunity Fund LP, an entity controlled by Yao.

Yao has about 42% of the voting power in 58.com.

Last week, Chinese car comparison website Bitauto Holdings Ltd agreed to be taken private by an investor group backed by gaming and social media firm Tencent Holdings Ltd for $1.1 billion in cash.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.