Telstra pushes sale of Autohome through

25 Jun 2016

According to Bloomberg, Australia’s Telstra Corp. completed the sale of a 47-percent stake in China’s Autohome Inc. to the country’s second biggest insurer, Ping An Insurance Group Co., for $1.6 billion U.S..

However, it continues to face litigation over the deal. Autohome is one of China’s two listed auto site operators.

The Melbourne-based telco will make an accounting gain of A$1.8 billion ($1.4 billion U.S.) on the sale and said it would use most of the proceeds to return cash to shareholders, according to a company statement. It bought control of the website in 2008.

Autohome’s chief executive officer James Qin Zhi had sought to scuttle the sale of Telstra’s stake to Ping An by leading a management buyout offer. However, it is understood that Telstra believed Ping An was a good partner for Autohome, given its automotive insurance operations, and thought that with rivals ready to invest heavily in the business, it was a good time to withdraw.

The company said it was contesting “residual litigation” in the Cayman Islands relating to the deal.

Source: Bloomberg.

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Don Gasper