Weibo owner Sina to be taken private by CEO in $2.6 billion deal

FILE PHOTO: Sina Weibo’s booth is pictured at the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) 2017 in Beijing, China April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee

(Reuters) – Sina Corp SINA.O, owner of social media platform Weibo, will be taken private by a holding company led by Chief Executive Officer Charles Chao in a $2.6 billion deal, the Chinese internet company said on Monday.

The offer price of $43.3 represents an 18% premium to stock’s close on July 2, the last trading day before Sina received the preliminary offer of $41 per share.

Chao-controlled holding company, New Wave, owns a 12.15% stake in Sina as of July 10 and is the largest shareholder of the company, according to Refinitiv-Eikon data.

Interest in Chinese take-private deals has 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.

The U.S.-listed shares of Sina were up about 8% in premarket trading.

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