Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Mihai Corbuleac, Pat Romanski, David Bermingham, Steven Mandel

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
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, 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. Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere...
Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified – now it's a component-based well-performing framework. This immersive one-day workshop at 18th Cloud Expo, led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay, will provide you with everything you wanted to know about Angular 2.
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
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 Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services 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. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media 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. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, will discuss how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to im...
This is not a small hotel event. It is also not a big vendor party where politicians and entertainers are more important than real content. This is Cloud Expo, the world's longest-running conference and exhibition focused on Cloud Computing and all that it entails. If you want serious presentations and valuable insight about Cloud Computing for three straight days, then register now for Cloud Expo.
IoT device adoption is growing at staggering rates, and with it comes opportunity for developers to meet consumer demand for an ever more connected world. Wireless communication is the key part of the encompassing components of any IoT device. Wireless connectivity enhances the device utility at the expense of ease of use and deployment challenges. Since connectivity is fundamental for IoT device development, engineers must understand how to overcome the hurdles inherent in incorporating multipl...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...