|By PR Newswire||
|March 16, 2014 03:42 PM EDT||
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.
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Jan. 31, 2015 03:00 PM EST Reads: 5,256
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 31, 2015 02:30 PM EST Reads: 4,606
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.
Jan. 31, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 5,972
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Jan. 31, 2015 01:15 PM EST Reads: 4,521
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
Jan. 31, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 3,150
“With easy-to-use SDKs for Atmel’s platforms, IoT developers can now reap the benefits of realtime communication, and bypass the security pitfalls and configuration complexities that put IoT deployments at risk,” said Todd Greene, founder & CEO of PubNub. PubNub will team with Atmel at CES 2015 to launch full SDK support for Atmel’s MCU, MPU, and Wireless SoC platforms. Atmel developers now have access to PubNub’s secure Publish/Subscribe messaging with guaranteed ¼ second latencies across PubNub’s 14 global points-of-presence. PubNub delivers secure communication through firewalls, proxy ser...
Jan. 31, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 2,677
We’re no longer looking to the future for the IoT wave. It’s no longer a distant dream but a reality that has arrived. It’s now time to make sure the industry is in alignment to meet the IoT growing pains – cooperate and collaborate as well as innovate. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine the key ingredients to IoT success and identify solutions to challenges the industry is facing. The deep industry expertise behind this presentation will provide attendees with a leading edge view of rapidly emerging IoT oppor...
Jan. 31, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 2,959
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Jan. 31, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 10,795
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Jan. 31, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 4,756
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 31, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 5,063
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Jan. 31, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 4,768
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
Jan. 31, 2015 11:30 AM EST Reads: 3,828
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...
Jan. 31, 2015 11:15 AM EST Reads: 5,420
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Jan. 31, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 4,912
Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...
Jan. 31, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 4,096
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Jan. 31, 2015 10:45 AM EST Reads: 4,553
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
Jan. 31, 2015 10:45 AM EST Reads: 4,831
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Jan. 31, 2015 10:30 AM EST Reads: 4,197
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Jan. 31, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 4,769
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Jan. 31, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 5,118