Shareholders in Alibaba.com (HKG:1688), the business trading platform belonging to Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, have approved the proposal privatization put forward by the company back in February.
An Alibaba statement issued after this afternoon’s extraordinary general meeting explains:
Approximately 95 percent of the shares held by independent shareholders voting in person or by proxy were voted in favor of the privatization and a majority of the shareholders voting in person or by proxy on a headcount basis also voted in favor of the privatization.
And so Alibaba.com’s shareholders will receive the agreed upon cancellation price of HK$13.50 per share in cash. After that nearly unanimous approval, the next step will be getting the approval of the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands – yay for tax havens, huh – before, the company hopes, becoming a private company on June 19 and thereby delisting from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Earlier this week, Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Alibaba reached an agreement over the Chinese e-tailer buying back 20 percent of Yahoo’s stake. Just yesterday we heard rumors that the massive sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp (CIC) was seeking a $2 billion stake in Alibaba via an issuance of preferred shares – something that would sure help with the proposed repurchase from Yahoo, which will cost just over $7 billion.
Some analysts expect that a more consolidated and centralized Alibaba Group – replete with privatized B2C portal Alibaba.com, and with Yahoo having a much smaller stake – might go for a massive IPO at some point later. But the Yahoo buyback won’t be complete for another six months, so it could only happen after all that.