Shares of Momo Inc. Surge on Buyout Offer

By Timothy

What: Shares of Chinese social networking company Momo surged on Tuesday after co-founder and CEO Yan Tang partnered with various investment firms to make a going-private offer at a 20% premium to Monday's closing price. At noon on Tuesday, the stock was up about 10.5%.

So what: Tang, along with investment firms Matrix Partners II Hong Kong Limited, Sequoia Capital China Investment Management, and Huatai Ruilian Fund Management, own about 47.8% of the company's outstanding shares in aggregate, and control 84.1% of the voting power. The group offered $18.90 per American depository share, and the board of directors is currently weighing the offer.

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Now what: The buyout offer values Momo at over $3 billion, despite the company generating just $45 million of revenue in 2014. Revenue is growing extremely quickly, though, with guidance calling for a 267%-291% year-over-year revenue increase during the second quarter.

This going-private offer for Momo is the latest in a string of going-private offers for U.S.-traded Chinese companies. With the Chinese stock market booming, there's an incentive to take these companies private with the eventual goal of relisting in China at higher valuations.

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