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Weibo Denies Report That Chairman Chao Seeks to Buy Company

Weibo said Chairman Charles Chao informed the company that a report he wanted to buy the company 'is untrue, and he has had no discussion.'
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Weibo  (WB) - Get Weibo Corp. Report shares rose sharply Monday after the chairman of China’s Twitter-like  (TWTR) - Get Twitter, Inc. Report social-media company denied a report that he and a state investor were negotiating to take the company private.

The report came from Reuters, which cited knowledgeable sources.

Chairman Charles Chao “informed the company that the information is untrue, and he has had no discussion with anyone regarding privatization of the company,” Weibo said.

Reuters’s sources said that Chao and the investor would offer about $90 to $100 per share to take Weibo private.

Weibo stock recently traded at $59.11, up 8.8%. It has surged 46% over the past six months.

Chao’s holding company, New Wave, owned a 45% stake in Weibo as of February. That stake was valued at $5.6 billion based on Friday’s closing stock price, Reuters reported.

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Alibaba had a 30% share of Weibo, according to the company’s 2020 annual report.

Weibo was started by Chinese tech company Sina Corp. Weibo is censored in China, like other social media companies operating there. Twitter, the San Francisco microblogging site, is banned.

Real Money's Doug Kass Lists Buy Opportunities, Including Twitter

As for Twitter, Vertical Group analyst Phil Leggiere last month upgraded the social-media titan to very positive from mixed/positive amid optimism about the company’s growth.

“The flow of new brand campaign promotions and product releases, which picked up in the late first quarter, has accelerated further in April and May, boosting Twitter’s year-on-year growth momentum,” he wrote.

Also in June, the company unveiled the beginning of its first paid subscription service. That started in Australia and Canada.