Qihoo to Be Taken Private for $9.3 Billion Including Debt

  • Buyout consortium includes Ping An, Citic Guoan and Sequoia
  • Qihoo part of record buyout spree that's now resuming

Qihoo 360 Technology Co., a developer of security software for mobile phones, agreed to be taken private for $9.3 billion including debt, six months after first getting a non-binding offer.

An investor group including Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. and Sequoia Capital China is offering $77 per American depositary share in a deal first proposed in June, Qihoo said in a statement Friday. That’s a premium of 16.6 percent to the company’s closing price on June 16 with the deal expected to close in the first half of 2016, it said.

Qihoo is part of a record number of Chinese companies on U.S. exchanges that have announced more than $30 billion of privatization deals this year, as investors and executives seek to shift listings to the mainland to unlock valuations. The buyouts primarily targeted the U.S. traded stock because they’re cheap compared with their Chinese-traded peers.

Those buybacks are resuming as regulators lift a freeze on initial public offerings and markets recover from a $5 trillion mainland stock market rout that commenced in June.

Shares of Qihoo rose 1.8 percent to $73.08 at 11:12 a.m. in New York on Friday. The offer is at the same price as the June proposal of $77 per ADS.

The investor group includes Chief Executive Officer Hongyi Zhou as well as Citic Guoan Golden Brick Capital and Huasheng Capital.

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