Alibaba Group Holding Limited, the largest e-commerce company in China, entered a definitive agreement to purchase AutoNavi Holdings Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:AMAP), a Chinese digital map content, navigation, and location-based solutions provider for $1.5 billion.
AutoNavi Holdings Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:AMAP) said its shareholders will receive $5.25 in cash per ordinary share of $21 in cash per American depositary share (ADS). The acquisition price represents a 27% premium on the closing price of the mapping company’s closing price of $16.54 per ADS share on February 7, 2014.
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Alibaba Group Holding Limited submitted a “going private” proposal to AutoNavi Holdings Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:AMAP) on February 10. The board of directors of the mapping company unanimously recommended the merger agreement—its independent committee reviewed the going private proposal with the assistance of financial advisors and legal counsel.
The board of directors of AutoNavi Holdings Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:AMAP) encourage its shareholders to approve the transaction.
In a statement, Mr. Congwu Cheng, chairman and CEO of AutoNavi Holdings Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:AMAP) said the company’s transaction with Alibaba Group Holding Limited maximizes the value for shareholders. He added, “We also believe that Alibaba is a great home for our employees and customers and that Alibaba will be able to provide us with great resources and strategic benefits to increase adoption of our location-based services in the China mobile Internet ecosystem.”
On the other hand, Jonathan Lu, CEO of Alibaba Group Holding Limited said, “We are excited to work with the talented team at AutoNavi to further integrate mobile commerce into the lives of our consumers. As a result of this transaction, we believe AutoNavi will continue to be a strong player in an increasingly competitive map applications and local services market.”
The deal is subject to customary closing conditions and affirmative approval of shareholders representing at least two-third of the shares of the mapping company. Alibababa Group Holding Limited owns 78,428,700 shares or a 28.2% stake in AutoNavi Holdings Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:AMAP) as of March 31. It will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alibaba and its ADS shares will no longer trade at NASDAQ following the completion of the transaction.