China Oceanwide acquires US tech media firm IDG

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China Oceanwide (中国泛海), a Chinese privately owned investment company, announced yesterday that it has completed the acquisition of the majority of assets of American technology media and marketing services International Data Group (IDG), including its subsidiaries International Data Corporation (IDC) and IDG Communications, as part of its bid to expand overseas, local media is reporting (in Chinese).

With the completion of the acquisition, the Chinese conglomerate has become the American firm’s controlling shareholder by holding a 90% stake, while IDG Capital, the China-focused investment firm run by IDG China, has taken a 10% stake.

IDG is a leading media, data and marketing services and venture capital firm, headquartered in Boston. It recorded US$3.8 billion in sales for fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2015.

Market intelligence firm IDC is the first global technology research company that has entered the Chinese market, while IDG Communications is the world’s largest media, data and marketing services, creating personalized content of market influence in areas such as video, cell phones and social media.

China Oceanwide has branched out into financial services, media and culture, strategic investment fields from real estate development over the past three decades since it was founded by Lu Zhiqiang in 1985. The company holds shares in a number of Chinese private commercial banks such as China Minsheng Bank and Guangxi Beibu Gulf Bank.

After the acquisition, the conglomerate worthy of billions of US dollars has nearly 20,000 employees across the world with more than 40 subsidiaries and branches.

The low-key Chinese conglomerate has embarked on an overseas M&A spree in recent years.

The company bought U.S. insurer Genworth Financial Inc for around US$ 2.7 billion last October (in Chinese), the largest acquisition ever of a foreign insurer by a Chinese firm in China.

Lu’s sprawling business empire also expanded its reach to the US real-estate market. In August 2015 alone, the company bought a property for US$ 390 million in a Manhattan (in Chinese).

“We believe the sky is the limit for where IDG business development is headed in the future. As a new shareholder, we will share China Oceanwide’s experience and advantages with IDG, while integrating the existing business with theirs,” said Liu Bing, new president of IDG and vice-president of China Oceanwide.