November 22, 2011 / 1:41 PM / in 6 years

Shanda Interactive CEO to take company private

(Reuters) - Shanda Interactive SNDA.O said it agreed to be taken private by a group led by its Chief Executive Tianqiao Chen and his family in a deal that values the Chinese Internet firm at $2.3 billion.

Last month, the company, which spun off its core online games business Shanda Games GAME.O in 2009, said it received an offer from its CEO and key shareholder Chen to take it private.

Premium Lead Co Ltd is a British Virgin Islands-based company jointly owned by Shanda Interactive CEO Chen, his wife Qian Qian Chrissy Luo and brother and chief operating officer Danian Chen.

Premium Lead and its Cayman Islands-based unit New Era Investment Holding Ltd own nearly 70 percent of Shanda’s outstanding shares.

The buyers will fund the deal, which is expected to close before the end of the first quarter of 2012, with proceeds from $180 million loan facility, as well as cash.

American depository receipts (ADR) of the company closed at $39.39 on Monday on Nasdaq.

Reporting by Soham Chatterjee in Bangalore; Editing by Viraj Nair

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