Alibaba of­fers to buy dig­i­tal map­ping com­pany

China Daily (Canada) - - NEWSCAPSULE -

Alibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd, China’s top e-com­merce site by rev­enue, of­fered a full takeover of Au­toNavi Hold­ings Ltd, a US- listed dig­i­tal- map­ping com­pany listed that holds rare map­ping li­censes from the Chi­nese govern­ment.

The tie-up will en­able Alibaba to ex­tend its vir­tual busi­ness to real-world uses.

Last May, Alibaba ac­quired 28 per­cent of Au­toNavi’s shares for $294 mil­lion. The cur­rent all-cash of­fer pro­poses to pur­chase the re­main­ing 72 per­cent at $21 per Amer­i­can de­pos­i­tory share (ADS), which val­ues the busi­ness at ap­prox­i­mately $1.58 bil­lion.

“Com­pared with its main com­peti­tors in China — Baidu and Ten­cent — Alibaba is rel­a­tively be­hind in terms of mo­bile ser­vices,” said Echo He, se­nior an­a­lyst at Maxim Group LLC. “Get­ting Au­toNavi seems to be a good way to in­crease its mar­ket share in the mo­bile busi­ness.”

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