Alibaba agrees on $266 million acquisition deal with South China Morning Post

Industry:    December, 2015

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) has agreed on a HK$2.06 billion ($265.8 million) deal to acquire the South China Morning Post and other media assets of SCMP Group Ltd (0583.HK), the newspaper group said in a statement on Monday. Alibaba and SCMP Group Ltd (0583.HK) said on Friday that the Hangzhou-based company would buy the 112-year-old English language newspaper and other media properties, but did not put a value on the deal. The all-cash purchase, which follows a string of media deals by Alibaba, is likely to raise concerns in Hong Kong where the South China Morning Post occupies an important position and is seen as a barometer for press freedom under Chinese rule. In a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange, SCMP Group cited an “uncertain” future for traditional publishing as a key reason behind the sale, adding Alibaba would likely be able to “unlock greater value” from the business. SCMP Group had a turnover of around HK$1.2 billion in 2014, up slightly from 2013, it said. Net profit for the year was HK$122.6 million. The group said it expected to record a gain of around HK$1.4 billion from the asset sale. It plans to use the proceeds for the payment of a special cash dividend. Alibaba has acquired or invested in a growing portfolio of media and content companies in recent years. In June, the company agreed to pay $194 million for an undisclosed stake in domestic financial media firm China Business News. Read more at Reutershttp://www.reuters.com/article/us-scmp-group-alibaba-idUSKBN0TX01S20151214#GMzDSkYVCXqdH7PB.99

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