RealTime IT News

renren.com, Murdoch Buy Shell Company in Hong Kong

renren.com Holdings Ltd, the majority shareholder of Chinese content site renren.com, announced Thursday it has formed a partnership with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. to acquire Hong Kong-listed Ankor Group Ltd.

News Corp, through its News Digital Ventures, invested in renren.com through its parent, renren Media Holdings. renren Media Holdings also acquired 82 percent ownership of Ankor, whose name will be changed to renren Media Ltd.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ankor Group, a motor vehicle distributor listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, posted losses in each of the past five years. Ankor reported a loss of HK$27.7 million (US$3.56 million) in the six months to June 30 last year.

Anthony Cheng, president of renren Holdings, reportedly said the company will treat Ankor as a separate business entity and renren.com will not be injected into it.

renren.com Media Holdings is controlled and led by a consortium including Olympus Capital Holdings Asia, J.H. Whitney & Co, Chengwei Ventures, AsiaTech Ventures and News Digital Ventures.

Company officials said that renren.com, News Corp and Ankor plan to develop consumer-oriented e-commerce businesses.

renren.com currently provides Chinese content including chat rooms, homepage hosting, classifieds, e-mail, polls, and forums.

News Corp operates Star TV in Hong Kong and broadcasts TV programs - Channel [V] and ESPN Star Sports - in the greater China region.