Travel booking titan Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) is making a big push for new users and revenue streams in Asia today with the A$703 million (US$659.5 million) acquisition of Australia-based Wotif Group (ASX:WTF). It runs a number of travel sites in the region, such as Wotif.com, Lastminute.com.au, Travel.com.au, LateStays, and GoDo.com.au (hat-tip to The Next Web). Wotif’s numerous sites will remain running under the auspices of US-based Expedia.
Hon Hai Group has purchased 2.45 million shares of SK C&C, a subsidiary of South Korea’s SK Group, representing a shareholding of 4.9%. Hon Hai published a report, stating that as a long-term investment, its subsidiary Best Leap Enterprises Limited acquired 2.45 million shares of SK C&C, with the price of KRW155,500 per share. The total trading value was KRW380.975 billion, which was about CNY2.34 billion.
Big data analytics innovator Mu Sigma, based in Chicago and Bangalore, has acquired the Singapore-based social media analytics firm Webfluenz. Mu Sigma, one of the most successful Indian tech startups, with a billion-dollar valuation, counts more than a quarter of Fortune 500 companies among its customers. Its USP is to conflate data from multiple sources – people and machines, processes and platforms – to help its clients make intelligent decisions in critical areas like risk, supply chain, and marketing. Mu Sigma employs over 3,000 decision scientists with experience across 10 verticals.
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. recently made a purchase of 4.9 percent share in SK C&C Co. The Foxconn Technology Group unit, the largest in the company, is still looking to expand further. Hon Hai spent $377 million or 381 billion won for all the stocks from SK Holdings Co. That’s about 155,00 per share, according to Chairman Chey Tae-won. The Taiwanese multinational electronics seems to be bent on venturing into automation, cloud computing, as well as, electric cars. This could mean Foxconn no longer wants to depend on Apple as its main buyer or maybe the company still wants to grow.
Chinese media and entertainment group Enlight Media will invest about CNY385 million to acquire the animation company Bluearc Animation and the mobile game company Refeng Network. According to the company’s announcement, Enlight Media will invest CNY176 million to acquire a 51% stake in Refeng Network. After Refeng Network achieves its performance goals for the next three years, Enlight Media will acquire the remaining 49% stake. During the transaction, Refeng Network’s overall valuation reportedly reached CNY346 million. Refeng Network is mainly engaged in the development and operation of mobile Internet games.
Chinese web giant Tencent (HKG:0700) – now best known as being the maker of WeChat – announced today that it’s paying US$736 million for a 19.9 percent stake in 58.com (NYSE:WUBA), which is China’s answer to Craigslist. 58.com, which has 130 million monthly unique users, IPO’d last October. Tencent revealed today that 58.com’s listings will be integrated in some way with WeChat, the popular messaging app, as well as with Tencent’s QQ IM.
Yesterday, Alibaba and UCWeb jointly announced the former’s full acquisition of the latter, publicly calling it the biggest merger in the history of Chinese internet companies. Today, UCWeb founder and CEO Yu Yongfu gave an interview to foreign media to discuss his company’s role within Alibaba moving forward. While he remained vague about some of the details, here’s everything we’ve learned so far:
While many in the Chinese mobile games market see Tencent’s domination of distribution and publishing is almost inevitable, the other giant players in the market have other plans. In 2013, search giant Baidu spent $1.9 billion buying app distribution outfit 91 Wireless, and now ecommerce giant Alibaba – which is about to IPO in the US – has fully acquired UCWeb. It’s best known for its UC browser, which in China has spawn the UC 9Game platform, which provides a combination of Android app distribution and social interaction for players.
China’s biggest ecommerce company Alibaba will wholly-acquire the country’s biggest mobile browser maker UCWeb, according to a joint announcement made today. Alibaba will buy all the shares of UCWeb that it does not already own. UCWeb CEO Yu Yongfu will become part of Alibaba’s new strategic decision-making committee, and all 3,000 of UCWeb’s employees are now under the Alibaba umbrella as part of the “Ali UC mobile business group” (translation ours).
Hon Hai Group submitted a filing to Taiwan Stock Exchange which revealed that its subsidiary Ambit Microsystems Corporation will invest NTD11.64 billion to buy newly issued shares of Asia Pacific Telecom, a Taiwanese telecom carrier. The company may implement a merger with the latter in the future. Hon Hai said in the filing that Asia Pacific Telecom will issue 826.407 million new shares.
Rakuten Marketing, the digital marketing arm of Japanese conglomerate Rakuten, Inc., announced the acquisition of DC Storm, a British marketing analytics firm. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Founded in 2004, DC Storm has steadily grown over the past nine years and established local headquarters in Frankfurt (2008) and New York City (2013).
Beijing based mobile app and digital content analytics company App Annie has announced that it acquired competitor Distimo for an undisclosed sum. In a blog post written by App Annie CEO Bertrand Schmitt, he explains that Distimo’s founders will continue to be key members of the company. Distimo’s Netherlands headquarters will become App Annie’s new European R&D center.
Foxconn, the Taiwan-based company that manufactures gadgets for Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, and others, aims to become a major force in Taiwan’s emergent market for 4G. The gadget supplier will buy a stake worth $390 million in Asia Pacific Telecom, a Taiwanese mobile telecoms operator, reports Reuters.
BANGALORE: Google buys a Mobile service startup company ‘Divide’, a company that helps employees to depend on the Smartphones to finish their work, as increasing number of people are doing so these days. The deal is a part of the company’s initiative to increase the number of Smartphones and tablet users running the Android OS. Divide, a startup company founded four years ago believed that increasing number of Smartphones and Tablets would rev up the corporate demand for the device management tools.
Just one week after acquiring India’s biggest fashion and apparel estore Myntra, the country’s biggest online marketplace Flipkart has raised US$210 million in funding. The investment is led by Russia’s DST Global, followed by existing investors Tiger Global, Naspers, and Iconiq Capital, according toNextBigWhat. This bring’s Flipkart’s total funding to date to US$750 million, the highest of any Indian startup. It’s previous round closed out at US$360 million in October.
In yet another major development in the global chat app wars, popular Korea-based messaging startup Kakao looks set to merge with Daum, the country’s second-largest web portal. The Korea Herald reports that Daum announced the news this morning, and the two firms will hold a joint press conference later today with more details.
TAIPEI — Taiwan Star Cellular Corp. (台灣之星), a telecom arm of conglomerate Ting Hsin International Group (頂新), said it is seeking to acquire Asia Pacific Telecom Co. (亞太電) in a bid to consolidate the resources of the two companies. Cliff Lai, president of Taiwan Star, said his company is sitting on huge funds and has a 4G license, a broad distribution network and plenty of talent for business expansion.
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Reports emerged yesterday suggesting that Hon Hai Precision Industry (鴻海精密) and Japan’s SoftBank are among the list of likely candidates vying to acquire languishing Asia Pacific Telecom (APT, 亞太電信). According to local reports, Hon Hai intends to expend as much as NT$10 billion to acquire a 22-percent stake in APT from state-run companies and affiliates
Today, Indonesian price comparison PriceArea site confirmed that it has been acquired by Seoul-based Yello Mobile for an undisclosed sum. The announcement comes after a wave of rumors surrounding a potential purchase of the startup. Korea-based Yello Mobile will take a majority stake in PriceArea. A source familiar with the deal tells Tech in Asia that the acquisition sum is at seven-figures in US dollars, but PriceArea and its investors GREE Ventures and East Ventures declined to confirm or reveal the exact figure when asked.
Microsoft today said it had acquired New Zealand high performance cloud computing specialist GreenButton, with the latter’s tools to be integrated into Azure’s big compute offering. Scott Houston, who was the chief technical officer of animation and special effects firm Weta Digital before he co-founded GreenButton, said the deal is an inspiration to other NZ companies.