The Chinese real estate marketplace operator Fang.com may be about to be taken private.
The company announced on its investor relations website yesterday that it has received a buyout offer from its Chairman Mr. Jiangong Dai valuing the company at $40.9 million.
The proposal involves Dai buying out all outstanding shares of Fang's American depository shares at a price of $6.19 per share, a cash price that "represents a premium of approximately 210% to the closing price of the ADSs on September 1, 2023".
Fang.com was a first mover in the Chinese real estate portal space. Founded as Soufun.com in 1999 by Vincent Mo and taken public in 2010, the portal traditionally made most of its money by selling banner ads to developers. After a downturn in the primary market in 2014, the company tried to pivot and take on the country's agents by offering transactions at 0.5% commission. In doing so Fang.com burned bridges with customers and was forced to change back to its initial model.
Fang.com (OTC: SFUNY), not to be confused with fellow Chinese portal operator FangDD, nowadays is a direct competitor of the likes of Anjuke and Leju operating a marketing, listing, financial and value-added services business model.
The company's American depository shares were delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in 2022 after the company failed to file financial reports with the FTC. Since then shares in the company have been traded 'over the counter' with the price at the time of writing set around $2 per share.
According to a notice on its website, the company has only just received the offer and gives no guarantees about any deal taking place:
"the Board has just received the Proposal Letter and has not had an opportunity to carefully review and evaluate the proposal or make any decision with respect to the Company’s response to the proposal. There can be no assurance that any definitive offer will be made, that any agreement will be executed or that this or any other transaction will be approved or consummated. The Company does not undertake any obligation to provide any updates with respect to this or any other transaction, except as required under applicable law."