Boyu, Hillhouse & Sequoia China join race for Telstra’s Autohome, topping Ping An bid

A clerk counts Chinese yuan and U.S. dollar banknotes at a branch of Bank of China in Taiyuan

Autohome Inc.’s chief executive officer offered to take over the Chinese car website less than 12 hours after Ping An Insurance Group Co. agreed to buy about 48 percent of the company.

CEO James Zhi Qin, together with Boyu Capital, Hillhouse Capital and Sequoia China, submitted a preliminary non-binding proposal to buy Autohome for $31.50 a share in cash, the group said in a statement Friday. That’s 12.1 percent more than Autohome’s volume-weighted average price over the last 30 trading days, according to the statement.

The group’s proposal trumps Ping An’s offer of $29.55 a share for a 47.7 percent stake held by Australia’s Telstra Corp. Both offers come as vehicle sales are forecast to accelerate this year in China, the world’s largest auto market.

Ping An, China’s second-largest insurer, will pay $1.6 billion for the stake from Telstra, which will retain a 6.5 percent share in Autohome, the Australian phone company said in a separate statement.

Qin didn’t respond to two calls and an e-mail outside regular business hours Saturday. A representative at Ping An’s investor relations department declined to comment Sunday.

The CEO and his partners plan to form an acquisition company for the transaction and pay for the purchase with equity from its members and bank financing, according to their statement. The offer is subject to definitive agreements and regulatory approvals, they said.

Autohome rose 6.6 percent to close at $32.15 in New York trading Friday, the highest level since Jan. 5.

Total deliveries in China may gain about 6 percent in 2016 to exceed 26 million vehicles, the state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said in January.

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Bloomberg

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

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  • 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. 
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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.