Shanda’s Luo Acquires 6.1% of Ad Company Millennial MediaMiles Weiss
Luo Qianqian Chrissy, a founding shareholder of China’s Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd., acquired a 6.1 percent stake in Millennial Media Inc. after the mobile advertising company’s shares tumbled earlier this month.
Luo, the wife of Chen Tianqiao, the chairman and chief executive officer of Shanda, reported in a regulatory filing today that she holds 4.99 million Millennial shares with a stock market value of about $34 million.
Chinese companies and entrepreneurs are showing growing interest in the U.S. online industry. Baidu Holdings Ltd., the parent of China’s most popular search engine, disclosed in a May regulatory filing that it held a lien on the assets of Kikin Ltd., suggesting a possible lending arrangement with the New York-based developer of “touch to search” technology.
Paul Palmieri, chief executive officer of Baltimore-based Millennial, didn’t immediately return a telephone call seeking comment. Matthew Lindberg, a Millennial spokesman, said he had no immediate comment, while Luo Qianqian, a citizen of Singapore, couldn’t be located during U.S. business hours.
Millennial, the only publicly traded U.S. company focused solely on mobile advertising, plunged last week after reporting that second-quarter sales rose 45 percent to $57 million, shy of the average analyst estimate of $59.2 million. The company also said it would buy rival Jumptap Inc. for about $200 million to better compete with Google Inc., the largest seller of mobile ads.
Millennial shares fell 19 percent to $6.90 each on Aug. 14, the largest decline in almost six months. About 15.9 million Millennial shares changed hands that day, almost 13 times higher than the stock’s average daily trading volume for the prior 52 weeks.
Luo’s stake in Millennial crossed the 5 percent reporting threshold on Aug. 15, according to today’s Schedule 13G filed by her and Fortune Capital Holdings Enterprises Ltd., a company she controls. Luo owned a 13 percent stake in Shanda Interactive at the start of 2012 through two entities she controls, according to regulatory filings.
Shanda held a 76 percent stake in Shanda Games Ltd., an operator of online games in China whose American depositary receipts trade on the Nasdaq, as of March 31, according to a regulatory filing. Shanghai-based Shanda Interactive announced in October 2011 that Chen and Luo would take the parent company private in a transaction valuing it at $2.33 billion.