The two companies will together boast over a third of the market share in the booming country where online video sites unofficially compete for eyeballs with traditional television. The all-stock deal has been valued at just over $1 billion according to media reports. The combined venture, to be known as Youku Tudou Inc., will be the Chinese leader but will still face competition from other important players including Baidu Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. Youku went public in 2010 while Tudou did so last year. They are both traded in the U.S.
BEIJING and SHANGHAI, March 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Youku Inc. (NYSE: YOKU) (“Youku”) and Tudou Holdings Limited (NASDAQ: TUDO) (“Tudou”) announced today that they have signed a definitive agreement for Tudou to combine with Youku in a 100% stock-for-stock transaction. Under the terms of the agreement, each Class A ordinary share and Class B ordinary share of Tudou issued and outstanding immediately prior to the effective time of the merger will be cancelled in exchange for the right to receive 7.177 Class A ordinary shares of Youku, and each American depositary share of Tudou (“Tudou ADSs”), each of which represents four Tudou Class B ordinary shares, will be cancelled in exchange for the right to receive 1.595 American depositary shares of Youku (“Youku ADSs”), each of which represents 18 Youku Class A ordinary shares resulting in Youku and Tudou shareholders and ADS holders owning approximately 71.5% and 28.5% of the combined entity, respectively, immediately upon completion of the transaction. Upon completion, the combined entity will be named Youku Tudou Inc. Youku’s ADSs will continue to be listed on the NYSE under the symbol “YOKU”.
“We intend to lead the next phase of online video development in China. Youku Tudou Inc. will represent a differentiated leader in the online video market in China with the largest user base, most comprehensive content library, most advanced bandwidth infrastructure and strongest monetization capability within the sector,” said Victor Koo, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Youku. “Youku Tudou Inc. will have the reach and scale to bring our users high quality content at high speeds. The combined company will have the two leading online video brands in China: Youku and Tudou.” (more…)