Alibaba offers to buy rest of Youku Tudou for S$36.60 a share

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. already owns 18 per cent of Youku Tudou, and offered to buy the rest for US$26.60 (S$36.64) a share.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. already owns 18 per cent of Youku Tudou, and offered to buy the rest for US$26.60 (S$36.64) a share.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. offered to buy the rest of Youku Tudou Inc. for US$26.60 (S$36.64) a share in cash.

China's largest e-commerce operator already owns 18 per cent of the target, according to a Business Wire statement Friday. Alibaba said its paying a 30 per cent premium to Thursday's closing price in New York.

The deal values the whole company is US$4.2 billion based on the number of outstanding shares as of Dec. 31.

Buying Youku Tudou Inc., China's most popular video- streaming website, would let Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma deliver U.S. films and drama series to more than a third of the population.

Youku, which has risen 15 per cent this year, climbed 4.9 per cent to US$20.43 on Thursday. Alibaba advanced 4.7 per cent to US$71.78.

The founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. toured California in October last year, looking for content to beam to Chinese consumers.

Like Alibaba, Youku is zeroing in on U.S. studios for programming. The company, which mostly streams professionally produced content rather than amateur videos, plans to collaborate with U.S. entertainment producers to create content that could be watched on its website, Chairman Victor Koo said in an Oct. 27 interview in Hong Kong.