HONG KONG: Alibaba.com Ltd, China’s largest listed e-commerce company, posted a 25% slide in first quarter earnings, weighed by a stagnant paying-member base and higher operating expenses.
The company also said a document regarding the US$2.5 billion offer made by Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group to take Alibaba.com private would be sent to shareholders today.
Alibaba.com, a unit of Alibaba Group, said January-March net profit fell to 339.2 million yuan (US$53.8mil) from 452.5 million yuan a year earlier, in line with the average forecast of 330.1 million yuan made by two analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
Alibaba.com said paying members in the first quarter fell 1.5% from the previous quarter to 753,955. Revenue rose marginally to 1.59 billion yuan. Alibaba Group, which is 40% owned by Yahoo Inc and owns major Chinese e-commerce assets, Taobao Mall and Taobao Marketplace, said in February that the privatisation offer was unrelated to any possible deal to buy back its shares owned by Yahoo.
Alibaba Group is offering HK$13.50 in cash per share to take Alibaba.com private, the same price as the company’s IPO price in 2007. It had said the offer, which was made in order to grow the company outside the glare of public disclosure requirements, would not be raised. — Reuters
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