Weibo take-private talk stirs Sina holdouts

2 minute read

Members of staff use a smartphone at Sina Weibo's booth during Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) at the National Convention in Beijing, China April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj - RC14E832BBF0

HONG KONG, July 7 (Reuters Breakingviews) - China’s Twitter-like social-media platform has denied a Reuters report read more that its founder is planning to take it private at an 80% premium. That will not stop holdout investors in parent company Sina from pricking their ears. They’re battling for a better deal from Charles Chao, chairman of both the web portal and Weibo (WB.O), whose $2.6 billion buyout offer in September undervalued Sina’s 45% Weibo stake by about $700 million.

Sina delisted in March, forcing unhappy shareholders to pursue a better price via Cayman Islands courts – a process increasingly familiar to investors in U.S.-listed Chinese buyout targets. When Chao first made his Sina bid, Weibo shares traded at $32. They closed near $58 on Tuesday, after Reuters reported a bid could reach $100 a share. Despite Chao’s and Weibo’s protestations that nothing’s afoot, the valuations mentioned will only fuel the determination of those who have taken their fight to George Town. (By Jennifer Hughes)

On Twitter

Capital Calls - More concise insights on global finance:

JEDI’s lesson on best laid plans read more

Toyota benefits from doubly weird auto market read more

Teneo calls its own experience read more

Italy’s Ali Group spices up U.S. pizza oven bid read more

Alstom’s Bombardier deal comes home to roost read more

Editing by Antony Currie and Katrina Hamlin

Reuters Breakingviews is the world's leading source of agenda-setting financial insight. As the Reuters brand for financial commentary, we dissect the big business and economic stories as they break around the world every day. A global team of about 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and other major cities provides expert analysis in real time.

Sign up for a free trial of our full service at and follow us on Twitter @Breakingviews and at All opinions expressed are those of the authors.

More from Reuters