Bitauto Announces Shareholder` Approval of Merger Agreement

Bitauto, one of the leading providers of internet content and marketing services for China`s automotive industry, has announced that its shareholders have approved a merger agreement with an investor consortium led by Tencent Holdings, a leading provider of internet value-added services in China.

The merger agreement, which was first announced in early March, will see Bitauto become a privately held company, with the investor consortium acquiring all of the outstanding ordinary shares of Bitauto for $16 per ADS (American Depositary Share) in cash, representing a 23.5% premium over the closing price of Bitauto`s ADSs on March 2, 2020.

The merger is expected to close in the second half of 2020, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including approval by the relevant regulatory authorities.

Bitauto`s board of directors has unanimously approved the merger agreement and recommended that shareholders vote in favor of the transaction. The board`s independent financial advisor also provided a fairness opinion, concluding that the consideration to be paid to Bitauto shareholders is fair, from a financial point of view.

The merger with Tencent and its partners is expected to position Bitauto for long-term success in China`s growing automotive e-commerce and digital marketing industries. The combined company will have access to Tencent`s vast user base and deep expertise in internet technologies and services, which will enable Bitauto to enhance its value proposition for customers and drive sustainable growth.

Commenting on the shareholder approval of the merger agreement, Mr. Andy Zhang, CEO of Bitauto, said, “We are delighted to receive the support of our shareholders for this transformative transaction, which we believe will create significant value for all of our stakeholders. We look forward to working with Tencent and the other members of the investor consortium to take Bitauto to the next level of growth and innovation.”

The merger agreement also includes a 45-day “go-shop” period, during which Bitauto`s board of directors and its advisors may actively solicit and consider alternative acquisition proposals from third parties. However, the company has cautioned that there can be no assurance that any alternative proposals will be forthcoming or that any transaction will be consummated.

Overall, this is an exciting development for Bitauto and its shareholders, as the company is set to benefit from the extensive resources and expertise of Tencent and its partners, positioning it for long-term success in China`s dynamic automotive industry.

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