Alibaba Group Acquires China’s Youtube Youku Tudou

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. this week announced that it would acquire US-traded Chinese online video provider Youku Tudou in an all-cash-deal, giving it a means to secure a strong grip of the fast-growing China’s online video market.

The deal, which announced on Friday, will give the Chinese ecommerce giant an access to more than half a billion online video users, accelerating the company’s push in the Chinese digital media market.

The deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016, is subject to customary closing conditions, including the affirmative vote of the shares of Youku Tudou. Under the deal, Victor Koo will remain as Chairman and CEO of Youku Tudou. Once merger completed, Youku Tudou’s ADSs will no longer be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Founded in 1999, Alibaba Group Holding Limited is a Chinese ecommerce company that provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumers and business-to-business sales services via web portals. The company also offers electronic payment services, shopping search engine and cloud computing services. Launched by Jack Ma in Hangzhou, China, Alibaba is the largest online and mobile ecommerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume.

Youku Tudou is a leading multi-screen entertainment and internet television platform in China, enabling users to search, view and share high-quality video content quickly and easily across multiple devices.

Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd. is acting as financial advisor to Alibaba Group Holding Limited. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as legal advisor to Alibaba while Fanda Partners and Walkers are serving as PRC legal advisor and Cayman Islands legal advisor, respectively, to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

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