Qihoo 360 Gets $8.2 Billion Offer From Group Including CEO

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Qihoo 360 Technology Co., a Chinese Internet-security company, received a takeover offer of $77 in cash per American depositary share, valuing it at about $10 billion, from investors including Hongyi Zhou, its chairman and chief executive officer.

The offer Wednesday represents a 17 percent premium over the company’s previous close in New York. The investor group, which includes Citic Securities Co. and Golden Brick Capital, already owns 17.5 percent of the company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The $8.2 billion offer for Qihoo is the eleventh in the past 2 1/2 weeks for a Chinese business listed in the U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. All-time high valuations on China’s equity market and a pledge from Chinese authorities to facilitate fundraising for technology companies have encouraged companies to seek listings there, Bloomberg News reported on June 15.

Shares of Qihoo climbed 6.2 percent to $70.15 at the close in New York, the highest level in almost seven months.

Qihoo, whose businesses include operating Web games, said its board intends to form a committee of independent directors to consider the proposal. The company also operates China’s second-largest online search engine. The shares had fallen 46 percent from their March 2014 peak through Tuesday, a reflection of the company’s struggle to profit from its main product -- mobile-security software, according to TH Capital analyst Tian X. Hou in New York.

The cash offer is a good deal for shareholders and stands out because of its scale, Tian said. Many U.S.-listed Chinese companies are undervalued, she said.

(A previous version of the story was corrected to show that the deal values the company at about $10 billion.)

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