A take-private offer for Chinese online classifieds marketplace 58.com has secured the backing of private equity firms Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic, the New York-listed firm said on Thursday.
Warburg Pincus Asia, General Atlantic Singapore Fund, Ocean Link, and Yao Jinbo, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of 58.com, have proposed to acquire all outstanding ordinary shares of 58.com for $27.5 in cash per ordinary share, or $55 in cash per ADS, the Chinese firm said in a regulatory filing.
The latest offer values the business at about $8.23 billion.
The development comes less than a month after Ocean Link, a Chinese private equity firm backed by General Atlantic and Chinese online travel agency Trip.com, first revealed its intention to privatise the New York-listed company on April 2.
The proposed transaction, which will be funded by the consortium using a combination of equity and debt financing, represents a 17.8 per cent premium to the April 1 closing price, and a 17.1 per cent premium to the volume-weighted average closing price during the last 15 calendar days preceding the original proposal of April 2, according to the filing.
The offer provides “an attractive opportunity for the company’s shareholders,” said the consortium, which currently holds about 44.1 per cent of the total voting power of 58.com’s issued and outstanding shares.
Beijing-based 58.com formed a committee of two independent directors earlier in April to evaluate the proposed transaction or any alternative strategic options that the company may pursue.
58.com, which is China’s largest online classifieds marketplace in terms of monthly unique visitors on its website and mobile app, registered almost 15.58 billion yuan ($2.21 billion) in total revenues in 2019, an 18.6 per cent increase from 2018.
The Chinese firm has been active in making investments and acquisitions lately. In late March, 58.com joined hands with residential property listing service 58 Aifang to invest 500 million yuan ($71 million) in Daojiale.com, an online real estate agent based in southwestern China’s Chongqing city.
The company also announced in March that it would purchase Nasdaq-listed online used automobile dealer Uxin’s B2B car auction business for $105 million in cash.