Alibaba agrees on acquisition deal with Morning Post

New Delhi, Dec 14 (ANI): Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has agreed on a USD 2.06 billion ($265.8 million) deal to acquire the South China ‘Morning Post’ and other media assets of SCMP Group Ltd, the newspaper group said in a statement on Monday.

Alibaba and SCMP Group Ltd on Friday announced that the Hangzhou-based company would buy the 112-year-old english language newspaper and other media properties.

The all-cash purchase, which follows a string of media deals by Alibaba, is likely to raise concerns in Hong Kong where the South China Morning Post occupies an important position and is seen as a barometer for press freedom under Chinese rule.

SCMP Group had a turnover of around HK USD 1.2 billion in 2014, up slightly from 2013, it said. Net profit for the year was HK USD 122.6 million.

The group said it expected to record a gain of around HK USD 1.4 billion from the asset sale. It plans to use the proceeds for the payment of a special cash dividend.

Alibaba has acquired or invested in a growing portfolio of media and content companies in recent years. In June, the company agreed to pay USD 194 million for an undisclosed stake in domestic financial media firm China Business News. (ANI)

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