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Zhaopin Receives New Acquisition Offer, Gains 7%; Expert Complements 'Modest Move'

Zhaopin Receives New Acquisition Offer, Gains 7%; Expert Complements 'Modest Move'
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Zhaopin Announces Receipt of Preliminary Non-Binding Proposal, $17.75 Cash Per US ADR, $8.875/Ordinary Share
Benzinga's M&A Chatter for Tuesday January 19, 2015

Shares of Zhaopin Ltd (ADR) (NYSE: ZPIN), a China-based career platform business that connects users with relevant job opportunities, spiked higher by more than 7 percent after the company received a new acquisition offer.

Zhaopin's CEO Evan Sheng Guo, along with a consortium of investors led by Sequoia China Investment Management, proposed to acquire all shares of the company it doesn't already own at $17.75 per ADS.

The proposed takeout price implies a premium of 12.17 percent to the stock's volume-weighted average price over the past 30 days and a premium of 14.33 percent over the past 90 trading days. However, this isn't the first acquisition offer that the company has received this year.

Zhaopin announced on January 19 that it had received a proposal from CDH V Management Company and Shanghai Goliath Investment Management to acquire all shares of the company for $17.50 per ADS.

Pro: 'Higher Bid Is A Modest Move In The Right Direction'

Peter Halesworth, Managing Partner of Heng Ren Investments LP commented on Zhaopin's new takeout offer and said that the higher bid a "modest move in the right direction."

In an e-mail to Benzinga, Halesworth said that the offer "illustrates that insiders and industry experts fully understand the initial bid is too low." He added that this is a common occurrence for China-based companies looking to "squeeze out" U.S. shareholders.

Related Link: The State Of Chinese Company Take-Private Offers: A Look At WuXi PharmaTech

"The biggest risk in these squeeze outs is to do nothing," he added. "By doing so you are guaranteed to lose. It's good to see this becoming a growing realization by U.S. investors, and more challenges are coming from the U.S. and China. It's probably not the last counter-bid we've seen for Zhaopin, either."

Finally, he stated that Chinese management teams that plan on "low-balling" U.S. shareholders "should heed this message from the markets" and "avoid a reversal of fortune where they are squeezed up for a higher bid."

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