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Shanda CEO Hopes To Take Company Private

Chinese MMO operator Shanda Interactive will soon make the transition from a publicly traded to a privately owned company, if a proposal by its president and CEO is approved.
Chinese MMO operator Shanda Interactive will soon make the transition from a publicly traded to a privately owned company, if a proposal by its president and CEO is approved. The proposal would see a management group that includes president and founder Chen Tianqiao, his wife and company director Luo Qianqian, and brother and CEO Chen Danian jointly owning the company. The group currently has the majority share at 68.4 percent. The proposal would see the remaining shares purchased at $41.35 a share, an estimated $740 million. The premium purchase price is around 24 percent higher than the closing price of the shares on Friday. According to the proposal, the group has already received a "highly confident" letter of approval after discussions with J.P. Morgan. The proposal will have to be approved by a special committee of independent directors in order to go through. Though the committee has already been formed, no response has yet been issued. Shanda is one of China's leading MMO operators. Its quarterly results for the period ending March 31 saw $144.9 million in profit, a 12 percent increase from the same quarter in the previous year. The company's revenues for the second calendar quarter of 2011 were second only to Tencent across all of China, in a quarter that saw 12.6 percent growth country-wide.

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