Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Dana Gardner, Yung Chou, David Bermingham, Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Pat Romanski

News Feed Item

Giant Interactive Group Enters Into Definitive Merger Agreement For Going Private Transaction

NEW YORK, March 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  Giant Interactive Group Inc. (NYSE: GA) ("Giant" or the "Company"), one of China's leading online game developers and operators, announced today, March 17, 2014 in Shanghai, China that it has entered into a definitive Agreement and Plan of Merger (the "Merger Agreement") with Giant Investment Limited ("Parent") and Giant Merger Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Parent ("Merger Sub").

Pursuant to the Merger Agreement, Parent will acquire the Company for cash consideration equal to US$12.00 per ordinary share of the Company (each, a "Share") and US$12.00 per American Depositary Share of the Company, each representing one Share (each, an "ADS"), or approximately US$3.0 billion in aggregate cash consideration. This represents an 18.5% premium over the closing price of US$10.13 per ADS as quoted by the New York Stock Exchange (the "NYSE") on November 22, 2013, and a premium of 31.6% and 33.6%, respectively, over the Company's 30- and 60- trading day volume-weighted average price as quoted by the NYSE prior to November 22, 2013, the last trading day prior to the Company's announcement on November 25, 2013 that it had received a non-binding "going private" proposal from the chairman of the board of directors of the Company, Mr. Yuzhu Shi (and certain of his affiliated entities), and an affiliate of Baring Private Equity Asia (Baring Private Equity Asia together with funds managed and entities controlled by it, "Baring"), to acquire all of the outstanding Shares, including Shares represented by ADSs, not already owned by them. 

The consideration to be paid to holders of Shares and ADSs pursuant to the Merger Agreement also represents an increase of approximately 2.1% from the original US$11.75 per Share and US$11.75 per ADS offer price in the November 25, 2013 "going private" proposal.

Immediately following the consummation of the transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement, Parent will be beneficially owned by a consortium (the "Buyer Group") comprising a company owned by Mr. Shi, an affiliate of Baring and an affiliate of Hony Capital Fund V, L.P. (Hony Capital Fund V, L.P., together with funds managed and entities controlled by it, "Hony Capital"). As of the date of the Merger Agreement, the members of the Buyer Group beneficially own in aggregate approximately 49.3% of the issued and outstanding Shares. 

Subject to the terms and conditions of the Merger Agreement, at the effective time of the Merger, Merger Sub will merge with and into the Company, with the Company continuing as the surviving corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary of Parent (the "Merger"), and each of the Shares issued and outstanding immediately prior to the effective time of the Merger (including Shares represented by ADSs) will be cancelled in consideration for the right to receive US$12.00 per Share or US$12.00 per ADS, in each case, in cash, without interest and net of any applicable withholding taxes, except for (i) up to 59,890,972 Shares held by Union Sky Holding Group Limited, a company owned by Mr. Shi ("Union Sky"), 11,800,000 Shares held by Baring Private Equity Asia Holding (12) Limited, a company owned by Baring ("Baring SPV", and together with Union Sky, the "Rollover Shareholders"), and Shares held by Parent, the Company or any of their subsidiaries immediately prior to the effective time of the Merger, which Shares will be cancelled without payment of any consideration or distribution therefor, (ii) Shares owned by holders who have validly exercised and not effectively withdrawn or lost their rights to dissent from the Merger pursuant to Section 238 of the Companies Law of the Cayman Islands, which Shares will be cancelled at the effective time of the Merger for the right to receive the fair value of such Shares determined in accordance with the provisions of Section 238 of the Companies Law of the Cayman Islands, and (iii) 37,500,000 Shares held by Union Sky immediately prior to the effective time of the Merger, which will be cancelled in exchange for Union Sky's right to receive a promissory note to be issued to Union Sky in the aggregate principal amount of US$450,000,000, which is equal to the product of (a) 37,500,000 and (b) US$12.00, which note will be issued by the Company and bear simple interest at two percent per annum. As a result of the transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement, Mr. Shi will retain approximately one-half of his pre-transaction beneficial ownership in the Company, while selling the remainder for cash and a promissory note based on the same price per Share and per ADS as is to be paid to unaffiliated holders of Shares and ADSs, respectively, in the Merger.

The Buyer Group intends to fund the Merger through a combination of (i) cash contributions from affiliates of Baring and Hony Capital pursuant to equity commitment letters, (ii) the proceeds from a committed and underwritten loan facility contemplated by a debt commitment letter dated March 17, 2014 pursuant to which China Minsheng Banking Corp., Ltd., Hong Kong Branch, BNP Paribas Hong Kong Branch, Credit Suisse AG, Singapore Branch, Deutsche Bank AG, Singapore Branch, Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C., Goldman Sachs Lending Partners LLC, ICBC International Finance Limited and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. have agreed as underwriters and/or mandated lead arrangers to underwrite and/or arrange (directly or through their affiliates) an aggregate of US$850 million in debt financing for the Merger, subject to certain conditions, and (iii) cash in the Company and its subsidiaries.

The Company's board of directors, acting upon the unanimous recommendation of the special committee formed by the board of directors (the "Special Committee"), unanimously approved the Merger Agreement and the transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement, including the Merger, and resolved to recommend that the Company's shareholders authorize and approve the Merger Agreement and the transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement, including the Merger. The Special Committee, which is composed solely of independent directors of the Company who are unaffiliated with Parent, Merger Sub or any member of the Buyer Group or management of the Company, exclusively negotiated the terms of the Merger Agreement with the Buyer Group with the assistance of its independent financial and legal advisors.

Under the terms of the Merger Agreement, the Company is not permitted to pay any dividends or repurchase any Shares pending consummation of the Merger. As a result, the Company's board of directors has suspended the Company's previously announced share repurchase program and dividend policy.

The Merger, which is currently expected to close during the second half of 2014, is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval by an affirmative vote of holders of Shares representing at least two-thirds of the Shares present and voting in person or by proxy as a single class at a meeting of the Company's shareholders, which will be convened to consider the authorization and approval of the Merger Agreement and the transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement, including the Merger, and the other closing conditions specified in the Merger Agreement.  As of the date of the Merger Agreement, the Rollover Shareholders and Vogel Holding Group Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Union Sky ("Vogel"), beneficially own in aggregate approximately 49.3% of the issued and outstanding Shares.  Pursuant to a support agreement among the Rollover Shareholders, Vogel, Parent and Giant Group Holdings Limited, the sole shareholder of Parent, the Rollover Shareholders and Vogel have agreed to vote all their Shares and ADSs in favor of the authorization and approval of the Merger Agreement and the transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement, including the Merger. If completed, the Merger will result in the Company becoming a privately-held company and ADSs will no longer be listed on the NYSE.

Morgan Stanley Asia Limited and Duff & Phelps LLC are jointly serving as financial advisors to the Special Committee. Fenwick & West LLP is serving as U.S. legal counsel to the Special Committee and Maples and Calder is serving as Cayman Islands legal counsel to the Special Committee. Shearman & Sterling is serving as legal counsel to Morgan Stanley Asia Limited. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is serving as legal counsel to Duff & Phelps LLC.

Kilometre Capital is serving as strategic consultant to the Company.  O'Melveny and Myers LLP is serving as U.S. legal counsel to the Company, Grandall Legal Firm (Shanghai) is serving as PRC legal counsel to the Company and Conyers, Dill and Pearman is serving as Cayman Islands legal counsel to the Company.

China Minsheng Bank, Hong Kong Branch, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, ICBC International Capital Limited and J.P. Morgan are serving as financial advisors to the Buyer Group.  Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C. is serving as U.S. legal counsel to Mr. Shi and the Buyer Group. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is serving as U.S. legal counsel to Baring and U.S. and English law legal counsel to the Buyer Group for the debt financing. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is serving as U.S. legal counsel to Hony Capital. Fangda Partners is serving as PRC legal counsel to Baring and Hony Capital. Linklaters is serving as U.S. and English law legal counsel to the mandated lead arrangers of the debt financing, and Appleby and Jun He Law Offices are serving as Cayman Islands legal counsel and PRC legal counsel, respectively, to the mandated lead arrangers of the debt financing.

Additional Information about the Transaction

The Company will furnish to the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") a report on Form 6-K regarding the proposed transactions described in this announcement, which will include as an exhibit thereto the Merger Agreement. All parties desiring details regarding the transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement, including the Merger, are urged to review these documents, which will be available at the SEC's website (http://www.sec.gov).

In connection with the Merger, the Company will prepare and mail a proxy statement to its shareholders. In addition, certain participants in the Merger will prepare and mail to the Company's shareholders a Schedule 13E-3 transaction statement. These documents will be filed with or furnished to the SEC. INVESTORS AND SHAREHOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY THESE MATERIALS AND OTHER MATERIALS FILED WITH OR FURNISHED TO THE SEC WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE, AS THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMPANY, THE TRANSACTIONS CONTEMPLATED BY THE MERGER AGREEMENT AND RELATED MATTERS. In addition to receiving the proxy statement and Schedule 13E-3 transaction statement by mail, shareholders also will be able to obtain these documents, as well as other filings containing information about the Company, the Merger and related matters, without charge, from the SEC's website (http://www.sec.gov) or at the SEC's public reference room at 100 F Street, NE, Room 1580, Washington, D.C. 20549. In addition, these documents can be obtained, without charge, by contacting the Company at the following address and/or phone number:

Giant Interactive Group Inc.
11/F No. 3 Building, 700 Yishan Road,
Shanghai, 200233, People's Republic of China
Phone: +86 21 3397-9999

The Company and certain of its directors, executive officers and other members of management and employees may, under SEC rules, be deemed to be "participants" in the solicitation of proxies from shareholders with respect to the Merger. Information regarding the persons or entities who may be considered "participants" in the solicitation of proxies will be set forth in the proxy statement and Schedule 13E-3 transaction statement relating to the Merger when it is filed with the SEC. Information regarding certain of these persons and their beneficial ownership of the Company's ordinary shares as of March 31, 2013 is also set forth in the Company's Form 20-F, which was filed with the SEC on April 18, 2013. Additional information regarding the interests of such potential participants will be included in the proxy statement and Schedule 13E-3 transaction statement and the other relevant documents filed with the SEC when they become available.

This announcement is neither a solicitation of proxy, an offer to purchase nor a solicitation of an offer to sell any securities and it is not a substitute for any proxy statement or other filings that may be made with the SEC should the Merger proceed.

Cautionary Statement concerning Forward Looking Statements

This news release may include certain statements that are not descriptions of historical facts, but are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" and similar statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any such statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, uncertainties as to how the Company's shareholders will vote at the meeting of shareholders, the possibility that competing offers will be made, the possibility that various closing conditions to the Merger may not be satisfied or waived and other risks and uncertainties discussed in Giant's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as the Schedule 13E-3 transaction statement and the proxy statement to be filed by the Company in connection with the Merger. Giant does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law.

About Giant Interactive Group Inc.

Giant Interactive Group Inc. (NYSE: GA) is a leading online game developer and operator in China, and focuses on massively multiplayer online role playing games. Currently, Giant operates multiple games, including the ZT Online 1 Series, ZT Online 2, Elsword, and World of Xianxia. For more information, please visit Giant Interactive Group on the web at www.ga-me.com.

 

 

SOURCE Giant Interactive Group Inc.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...