China’s largest internet company Tencent made a preliminary offer to take search engine Sogou private, as rising tensions with the US spur some Chinese companies listed in the country to consider delisting or re-listing elsewhere.
In a statement, Sogou said it received a non-binding offer from Tencent to acquire all of the outstanding ordinary shares for $9.00 per share, which would result in it becoming a privately-held subsidiary of the Chinese conglomerate.
Tencent owns 39.3 per cent of Sogou, which listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2017.
Sogou said a special committee of independent directors will consider the proposal and noted no decision has been made: “There can be no assurance that Tencent will make any definitive offer”, or any transaction would be approved if so.
In the offer, Tencent president Martin Lau said: “We believe the transaction will provide superior value to shareholders,” noting it does not intend to sell its stake in the company to any third party.
He said it plans to purchase the outstanding shares with cash.
The US government has threatened to delist China-based companies: in May, the Senate in May passed a bill which could ban many Chinese companies from listing their shares on US exchanges.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back