China’s largest internet portal operator Sina Corp has agreed to acquire the non-internet advertising networks of Focus Media for US$1.27 billion in stock, the Wall Street Journal reported. The businesses being sold to Sina – which include the LCD, poster frame and in-store advertising networks – accounted for 52% of Focus Media’s revenues and 73% of its gross profit in the first three quarters of the year. Focus Media said the deal will allow it to focus on its internet and movie theatre advertisement business. Sina CEO Charles Chao said the acquisition will "significantly extend our media reach and influence, reinforcing our position as a partner of choice in new-media advertising in China." The deal entails the issuance of 47 million Sina shares and will be closed in the first half of 2009.
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