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CBK Digest, July 31, 2015

(Originally published via CBK’s email newsletter. To sign up see box on right side of website.)

HEADLINE NEWS

Renren’s CFO Resigns
The CFO of Beijing-based Renren Inc. (NYSE: RENN) has resigned. The company put out a press release stating Mr. Ashley Law Kwok Wai, was resigning from his position at the company to pursue another career opportunity, effective July 31, 2015. James Jian Liu, Renren’s Chief Operating Officer, will serve as the interim CFO until they find a new CFO.

MARKET MOVES

Kirin Applies for Nasdaq Listing
Kirin International Holdings Inc. (OTC BB: KIRI) has applied to list on the Nasdaq Capital Market. Kirin is a non-state-owned real estate development company focused on residential and commercial real estate development in “tier-three” cities in China. Kirin China’s projects are currently concentrated in Hebei Province of the PRC, primarily in the city of Xingtai, and nearby regions. Hebei Province is located in the North Region of the PRC. Kirin China intends to also focus on the Bohai Sea Surrounding Area, which comprises Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei Province, Liaoning Province and Shandong Province. The company had $118.5 million in revenue in 2014.

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GOING PRIVATE

Mecox Receives “Going Private” Merger Offer
Shanghai-based Mecox Lane Ltd. (Nasdaq: MCOX) received a “going private” merger offer on July 21, 2015, from CNshangquan Ltd. and Leading Capital Co. Ltd. The offer is priced at $4.00 per ADS, or approximately US$0.114 per ordinary share in cash. The Consortium Members currently beneficially own approximately 63.8 percent of all the issued and outstanding shares of the company. Mecox is an online retailer in China specialized in health, beauty and lifestyle products. It was founded in 1996 and listed on the Nasdaq in 2010. The company has appointed a Special Committee to evaluate its “going private” merger offer. The Special Committee is comprised of independent directors Mr. Xiongsheng Yang and Mr. Xiaohua Li. Mr. Yang will serve as the chairperson of the committee.

Perfect World Completes “Going Private” Merger
Beijing-based Perfect World Co., Ltd. (Nasdaq: PWRD) has completed its “going private” merger. ADS shares were cancelled for $20. The company’s shares stopped trading on July 28, 2015. The company is an online game developer and operator based in China. Perfect World primarily develops online games based on proprietary game engines and game development platforms.

Xueda Education Enters into Definitive Merger Agreement
Beijing-based Xueda Education Group (NYSE: XUE) has entered into a definitive “going private” merger agreement. The deal is priced at $2.75 for ordinary shares and $5.50 for ADS shares. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015. Lazard Asia (Hong Kong) Ltd. is serving as financial advisor to the Independent Committee. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is serving as U.S. legal advisor to the Independent Committee and Maples & Calder is serving as Cayman Islands legal advisor to the Independent Committee. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is serving as U.S. legal advisor to the Company. Walkers and Commerce & Finance Law Offices are serving as Cayman Islands legal advisor and PRC legal advisor to the company, respectively. Paul Hastings LLP is serving as legal advisor to Lazard. Kirkland & Ellis is serving as U.S. legal advisor to the founders and Han Kun Law Firm is serving as PRC legal advisor to the founders. CITIC Securities Company Limited is serving as financial advisor to Insight. Morrison & Foerster LLP is serving as U.S. legal advisor to Insight, and Zhong Lun Law Firm and Travers Thorp Alberga are serving as PRC legal advisor and Cayman Islands legal advisor to Insight, respectively. Xueda Education Group is a provider of personalized tutoring services for primary and secondary school students in China.

Momo Appoints Financial and Legal Counsel
The Special Committee of Beijing-based Momo Inc. (Nasdaq: MOMO) has retained J.P. Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd. as its financial advisor, Shearman & Sterling LLP as its US legal counsel and Conyers Dill & Pearman as its Cayman Islands legal counsel in connection with its review and evaluation of the previously announced preliminary non-binding “going private” proposal letter that the Company’s board of directors received on June 23, 2015. Momo is a mobile social networking platform in China.

Dangdang Appoints Financial and Legal Counsel
The Special Committee of Beijing-based E-Commerce China Dangdang Inc. (NYSE: DANG) has retained Duff & Phelps (Duff & Phelps, LLC and Duff & Phelps Securities, LLC) as its financial advisor and Shearman & Sterling LLP as its United States legal counsel in connection with its review and evaluation of the previously announced preliminary non-binding “going private” proposal letter that the company’s board of directors received on July 9, 2015.

21Vianet Appoints Financial Advisor and Legal Counsel
Beijing-based 21Vianet Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: VNET) has announced that the special committee of its board of directors has retained Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd. as its financial advisor and K&L Gates LLP as its international legal counsel, dated July 9, 2015. The announcement comes after a review and evaluation of the proposal from Mr. Josh Sheng Chen, the Chairman and CEO of the company, Kingsoft Corporation Ltd. and Tsinghua Unigroup International Co., Ltd. 21Vianet Group, Inc. provides Internet data centre services in China including hosting, cloud and related services.

JA Solar Appoints Financial Advisor and Legal Counsel
The Special Committee of Shanghai-based JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (Nasdaq: JASO) has retained Houlihan Lokey (China) Ltd. as its financial advisor and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP as its legal counsel to assist the Special Committee contemplating the company’s “going private” merger offer.

China Nepster Forms Special Committee
China Nepster Chain Drugstore Ltd. (NYSE: NPD) has announced the formation of a special committee by its board of directors to look into the ‘going private’ proposal it received, dated July 17, 2015. The special committee consists of three independent directors Mr. Barry J. Buttifant, Mr. Alistair Eric MacCallum Laband and Mr. Alan Au. The committee plans to retain independent legal and financial advisors to help in the process. China Nepster Chain Drugstore Limited is a retail drugstore chain in China with directly operated stores and products like medicine and nutritional supplements.

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FINANCING

Baidu Announces $1B Share Repurchase
The board of Beijing-based Baidu Inc. (Nasdaq: BIDU) has authorized a share repurchase program under which the company may repurchase up to $1 billion of its shares over the next 12 months. Baidu, Inc. is the leading Chinese language Internet search provider.

Alibaba Invest $1B in Aliyun
Beijing-based Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) is investing an additional $1 billion to fuel the growth of Aliyun, its cloud computing arm. The additional funding will be used to expand Aliyun’s international presence, extend and support an alliance-based global cloud computing ecosystem, and for the development of new cloud and big data solutions that enable customers to increase productivity, lower costs and scale quickly as their businesses grow.

LightInTheBox Secures Strategic Equity Agreement with Aokang
Beijing-based LightInTheBox Holding Co., Ltd. (NYSE: LITB) announced that Zhejiang Aokang Shoes Co., Ltd. (SSE: 603001) has completed the acquisition of a strategic equity interest in the company. As a result of the transaction, Mr. Zhentao Wang and Mr. Wenkui Chen have joined LightInTheBox as directors of the company, effective July 22, 2015, succeeding Mr. Liang Zhang and Mr. Bo Feng, who have tendered their resignations as directors of the company, effective as of the same date. LightInTheBox is a global online retail company that delivers products directly to consumers around the world.

eHi Car Services Secures Financing from China Development Bank
Shanghai-based eHi Car Services Ltd. (NYSE: EHIC) has announced that it has entered into a five year framework agreement with China Development Bank, dated July 20, 2015. It includes various financing products at an estimated aggregate amount of RMB 1.5 billion or US $24 million. The agreement allows the two parties to enter into cooperation in areas like vehicle fixed asset investment. The agreement is meant to enable expansion of network and fleet. eHi Car Services Ltd. provides car services and car rentals in China with a broad geographic coverage.

Daqo New Energy Secures Loans from Chongqing Rural Commercial Bank
Chongqing-based Daqo New Energy Corp. (NYSE: DQ) has announced that it has received approval from Chongqing Rural Commercial Bank for loans worth RMB 825 million or US $132 million, dated July 16, 2015. The loan includes a six year project finance loan of RMB 625 million and one year operating loan facility of RMB 200 million. Daqo New Energy Corp. manufactures polysilicon products and photovoltaic wafers.

Jinko Power Signs $150M Financing
Shanghai-based JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. (NYSE: JKS) has announced that its subsidiary company JinkoSolar Power Engineering Group Ltd. has signed a $150 million loan agreement with Credit Suisse AG and other financial institutions, dated July 16, 2015. The financing would help expand Jinko Power’s project portfolio in China. The loan would help develop the project of the company to generate power particularly solar power and strengthens its position in the Chinese solar power market. JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. develops solar products and sells them in China and other countries.

China Jo-Jo Drugstores Executes Direct Offering of $3 million
Hangzhou-based China Jo-Jo Drugstores, Inc. (Nasdaq CM: CJJD) has announced to purchase $3 million of its common stock at a registered direct offering of $2.50 per share, dated July 20, 2015. It has entered into a definitive agreement with health care focused institutional investor. The closing of the offering is slated to occur around July 23, 2015. The net proceeds from the offering would be utilized for working capital needs. China Jo-Jo Drugstores, Inc. is a direct retailer and wholesale distributor of pharmaceutical and health care products in China.

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COMPLIANCE

Sutor Regains Compliance With Nasdaq

Changshu-based Sutor Technology Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: TOR) has announced that it has regained compliance with the minimum bid price requirement for continued listing on the capital market of Nasdaq, dated July 14, 2015. The company has maintained the closing bid price of its common stock at $1 per share, hence regaining compliance. Sutor Technology Group Ltd. manufactures steel products and steel pipes in China.

China Sunergy Regains Compliance with Nasdaq Listing Requirements
Nanjing-based China Sunergy Co. Ltd. (Nasdaq: CSUN) has regained compliance with Nasdaq listing requirements. The company had not filed its Form 20-F for the period of Dec. 31, 2014. China Sunergy designs and manufactures solar cells and modules.

Fuwei Films Regains Compliance
Beijing-based Fuwei Films (Holdings) Co., Ltd. (Nasdaq: FFHL) has regained compliance with Nasdaq’s minimum bid price rule of $1.00 per share minimum closing bid price requirement for continued listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market. The company was notified in December 2014 that it was out of compliance.

UTStarcom Appoints New Auditor
Hong Kong-based UTStarcom (Nasdaq: UTSI) has dismissed PricewaterhouseCoopers Zhong Tian LLP (“PwC”). It has appointed GHP Horwath P.C., effective July 21, 2015. UTStarcom is a global telecom infrastructure provider dedicated to developing technology that will serve the rapidly growing demand for bandwidth from cloud-based services, mobile, streaming and other applications.

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MISCELLANY

JD.com Launches “U.S. Mall”
Beijing-based JD.com (Nasdaq: JD) has launched “U.S. Mall,” a channel on the company’s JD Worldwide cross-border platform dedicated exclusively to offering authentic imported U.S. products for sale to its customers in China. In conjunction with the launch, the company announced a partnership with DHL Global Forwarding to help American brands ensure that their products reach Chinese consumers more quickly and easily. Through this partnership, DHL is the preferred logistics service provider for moving American products ordered on JD.com’s U.S. Mall to and across China.

Beijing-based JD.com Added to Nasdaq-100 Index
JD.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: JD) became a component of the NASDAQ-100 Index® (Nasdaq: NDX) and the NASDAQ-100 Equal Weighted Index (Nasdaq: NDXE) on Wednesday, July 29, 2015. JD.com, Inc. will replace Catamaran Corp. (Nasdaq: CTRX). JD.com, Inc. is an online direct sales company in China.

AutoChina Changes Name to Fincera
Shijiazhuang-based AutoChina International Ltd. (OTCQB: AUTCF) is changing its name to Fincera Inc. The name change reflects the company’s evolving into an Internet-based financing solutions. The products K-Lend and K-Pay would be renamed to CeraVest and CeraPay respectively. The company has also launched its own website to reflect the name change. Fincera provides technology based financial solutions for transport industry in China through electronic payment service and short-term business loans. The company’s ticker will change at a later date. It has launched a new website: www.fincera.net.

SinoCoking Changes Name and Ticker Symbol
Pingdingshan-based SinoCoking Coal and Coke Chemical Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: SCOK) has changed its name to “Hongli Clean Energy Technologies Corp.” As well, beginning July 28, 2015, the ticker symbol changed from “SCOK” and “CETC.” The company’s common stock has been assigned a new CUSIP number of 438586109 in connection with the name change. Outstanding stock certificates will not be affected by the name change and will not need to be exchanged. SinoCoking Coal and Coke Chemical Industries, Inc., a Florida corporation, is an emerging producer of clean energy products located in Pingdingshan, Henan Province, China.

Mindray Medical Acquires Wuhan Dragonbio
Shenzhen-based Mindray Medical International Ltd. (NYSE: MR) has announced that it has completed acquisition of Wuhan Dragonbio Surgical Implant Co., Ltd. for RMB 43 or approximately US 70M. The company presently holds 100 percent of Dragonbio, a domestic orthopedic products provider. Mindray Medical International Ltd. is a developer and marketer of medical devices.

China Digital TV Updates Asset Restructuring
Beijing-based China Digital TV Holding Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STV) has announced updates to its asset restructuring plans with Shanghai Tongda Venture Capital Co., Ltd, dated July 16, 2015. Tongda Venture has received an approval from the PRC’s Ministry of Commerce. Under the approval, Golden Benefit Technology Ltd., a subsidiary of STV, would use 25 percent equity interest in Beijing Super TV Co. Ltd. to secure Tongda Venture’s non-public offering of shares. China Digital TV provides cloud-based application platforms to cable operators in China.

Xunlei Completes Divestment of Xunlei Kankan
Shenzhen-based Xunlei Ltd. (Nasdaq: XNET) has announced completion of its strategic divestment of Xunlei Kankan, the online video streaming platform of the company, dated July 15, 2015. The company has sold its entire stake in Xunlei Kankan to Beijing Nesound International Media Corp., Ltd.at a price of RMB130 million. The company feels the divestment is necessary as per the company’s policy of streamlining existing non-core and unprofitable businesses. Xunlei Ltd. provides acceleration products in China that includes a powerful internet platform giving users access to digital media content.

PRIVATE COMPANY NEWS

China Rapid Finance Secures $35M
Shanghai-based China Rapid Finance, a Chinese online consumer lending marketplace, has secured $35 million in its Series C round of financing. It puts its valuation at $1 billion. The round was led by Broadline Capital, a global private equity firm, and joined by a prominent global family office through UBS Investment Bank as well as other investors. Zane Wang, PhD, is founder and CEO of China Rapid Finance. The company was founded in 2001.