Business / Technology

Qihoo 360 receives offer to go private

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-06-18 10:17

SHANGHAI -- Chinese internet security firm Qihoo 360 has received an offer from its founder Zhou Hongyi and other investors to take the NYSE-listed company private in a likely plan to relist back in China, they announced Wednesday.

Zhou and CITIC Securities, China Renaissance, Sequoia Capital offered to purchase Qihoo 360's outstanding shares at $51.33, or 77 per American Depository Share (ADS)

In an internal e-mail sent on Wednesday, the company's founder Zhou said he decided to take Qihoo 360 private after "repeatedly reviewing the circumstances of overseas and China's capital markets".

Share of the Beijing-based internet firm, which went public in the New York Stock Exchange in 2011, rose nearly 6 percent on Wednesday morning to $71.8 and is valued at $8.9 billion.

Zhou said the company's leading position in China's internet market is not fully priced in its current $8 billion market capitalization.

Qihoo 360 is the latest of a string of Chinese firms listed overseas that have indicated interest to get relisted back in China, where an ongoing stock rally and IPO reforms have increased the appeal of the domestic stock market for Chinese firms.

Another technology company, Beijing Baofeng Technologies, has seen its shares rise to the daily limit of 10 percent for 28 days straight after its IPO in China's Shenzhen Stock Exchange in March. The company previously planned to go public in the United States.

The State Council, China's cabinet, also said on Tuesday that it is exploring ways to make it easier for China's internet and tech start-ups to list in stock exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen and is mulling a new board at the Shanghai bourse for companies in the emerging industries.

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