Qihoo 360 returns to China’s A-share market via backdoor listing

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Qihoo 360, China’ leading cybersecurity company providing anti-virus solutions, is poised to return to China’s A-share market through a backdoor listing, acquiring the domestically-listed elevator marketer SJEC with an RMB 50.4 billion ($7.6 billion) deal.

SJEC released a stock exchange statement today, pointing out that the company would acquire Qihoo 360 through an asset swap and share issue. After the deal, Zhou Hongyi, chairman and CEO of Qihoo 360 will hold 12.14% of the listed company’s shares. On top of that, through two other shareholders, QYMGC (奇信志成) and Tianjin Zhongxin (天津众信) that Zhou indirectly controls, he will in fact control—directly and indirectly—63.7% of the company’s shares in total, making him the controlling shareholder of the firm, as reported by local media citing the acquisition report.

In 2011, Qihoo 360 was listed in New York stock exchange with the market valuation at $3.95 billion. However, the company went private last year for about $9.3 billion in cash and delisted from US exchanges in the hope of returning to China’s mainland stock exchange.

Zhou told local media that after the deal, Qihoo 360 will focus on reshuffling its businesses, especially dividing B2B and B2C operations. Qihoo 360 has previously proposed the idea of “big security” (大安全) where the firm focuses on the areas related to AI and IoT security. Additionally, the firm will continue developing smart hardware such as smart children watches, smart cameras, and drive recorders, etc.