Alibaba Group, the Chinese e-commerce company, proposed Tuesday to privatize its Alibaba.com division.
Alibaba Group, which owns 73 percent of Alibaba.com with partners, is offering minority shareholders 13.50 Hong Kong dollars per share (US $!.74), a 60 percent premium over the 60-day average closing price. The total cost of the deal would be around 19.6 billion Hong Kong dollars ($2.5 billion).
“Taking Alibaba.com private will allow our company to make long-term decisions that are in the best interest of our customers and that are also free from the pressures that come from having a publicly listed company,” said Jack Ma, founder and CEO of Alibaba Group and chair of Alibaba.com, in a statement.
“With this offer, we provide our shareholders a chance to realize their investment now at an attractive cash premium rather than waiting indefinitely during this period of transition.”
Shareholders will vote on the proposed offer following a review by an independent board committee.
The company is also contemplating buying back the 40 percent stake in Alibaba Group currently held by Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO).
Separately, Alibaba.com said Tuesday revenue rose 15.5 percent to around $995.7 million in 2011, with earnings per share up 23 percent year-over-year to 41 Hong Kong cents per share.
Alibaba.com went public in November 2007 at 13.50 Hong Kong dollars. The stock was trading at 9.25 Hong Kong dollars but was suspended from trading Feb. 8. It will resume trading on Wednesday.