A rare large media deal, this time in the Chinese market: Sina (NSDQ: SINA), one of the big online portal companies in China, has acquired the out-of-home ad assets to local company Focus Media (NSDQ: FMCN), in stock. It will acquire Focus' LCD display network, poster frame network and in-store network; in return, Sina will issue 47 million newly issued ordinary shares to Focus, who will then distribute these shares to its shareholders shortly after the closing. Focus will retain its online ad division, the movie theater ad network portion of its commercial location network and certain traditional billboards. More details in release.
Chinastakes: Two years ago, the opposite was supposed to happen, when Focus' stock was flying high at around $60 a share. It had also made plans for IPOs of its Focus Wireless and Allyes Network divisions early this year, but pulled out due to deteriorating market conditions. Just last week, Focus was closing its mobile ad business due to "changes in the market situation."
By Rafat Ali