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March 16, 2014
16:44 EDTGAGiant Interactive in merger agreement for going private transaction
Giant Interactive Group announced in Shanghai, China that it has entered into a definitive Agreement and Plan of Merger with Giant Investment Limited and Giant Merger Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Parent. Pursuant to the Merger Agreement, Parent will acquire the company for cash consideration equal to $12 per ordinary share of the company and $12 per American Depositary Share of the company, each representing one Share, or approximately $3B in aggregate cash consideration. This represents an 18.5% premium over the closing price of $10.13 per ADS as quoted by the New York Stock Exchange on November 22, and a premium of 31.6% and 33.6%, respectively, over the company's 30- and 60- trading day volume-weighted average price as quoted by the NYSE prior to November 22, the last trading day prior to the company's announcement on November 25 that it had received a non-binding "going private" proposal from the chairman of the board of directors of the company, Mr. Yuzhu Shi, and an affiliate of Baring Private Equity Asia, to acquire all of the outstanding Shares, including Shares represented by ADSs, not already owned by them. Immediately following the consummation of the transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement, Parent will be beneficially owned by a consortium comprising a company owned by Mr. Shi, an affiliate of Baring and an affiliate of Hony Capital. As of the date of the Merger Agreement, the members of the Buyer Group beneficially own in aggregate approximately 49.3% of the issued and outstanding Shares. Under the terms of the Merger Agreement, the company is not permitted to pay any dividends or repurchase any Shares pending consummation of the Merger. As a result, the company's board of directors has suspended the company's previously announced share repurchase program and dividend policy. The Merger, which is currently expected to close during the second half of 2014, is subject to customary closing conditions.
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