China Oceanwide Holdings Group acquires controlling interest in technology publisher IDG
Chinese group will become controlling shareholder in deal that also involves IDG Capital, China’s first technology venture investment firm
BOSTON & BEIJING – January 19, 2017 — China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co., Ltd. and IDG Capital announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire International Data Group, Inc., including its subsidiaries International Data Corporation (“IDC”), IDG Communications, and IDG Ventures, and that they have received clearance from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) for the transaction. Upon closure of the transaction, China Oceanwide will become the controlling shareholder of IDG’s operating businesses, including IDC and IDG Communications, while IDG Capital will become the controlling shareholder of the IDG venture business. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close within the first quarter of 2017.
China Oceanwide is a privately held, multi-billion dollar international conglomerate founded by Chairman Zhiqiang Lu. Headquartered in Beijing, China Oceanwide’s well-established and diversified businesses include operations in financial services, real estate assets, media, technology and strategic investment, with more than 12,000 employees globally.
IDG Capital is an independently operated investment management partnership, with IDG as one of many limited partners. Formed in 1993 as China’s first technology venture investment firm, IDG Capital was ranked China’s top VC firm for 2016 by Zero2IPO Group.
IDG will continue to be headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts and managed by its current team. Kirk Campbell will continue as President and CEO of IDC, and Michael Friedenberg will continue as CEO of IDG Communications. A new board of directors will be appointed after the close of the transaction.
“In an effort to carry on the legacy of late founder and chairman Pat McGovern, we have been focused on determining the optimal future balance between what’s best for IDG and Pat’s mission for the McGovern Foundation,” said Walter Boyd, Chairman of IDG. “We believe China Oceanwide and IDG Capital will provide the right financial, strategic and cultural fit to take IDG to greater heights.”
“Pat made 130 trips to China over his career, and together with longstanding IDG executive Hugo Shong they established IDG’s media, market research and venture capital businesses in China,” continued Boyd. “We are happy to announce, and I believe Pat would be delighted to know, that China Oceanwide and IDG Capital are willing partners who will continue to invest in IDG’s business and drive growth across all three of IDG’s diverse and valuable assets – IDC, IDG Communications and the IDG Ventures portfolios.”
“IDG is a natural extension for China Oceanwide’s international portfolio expansion,” said Chairman Zhiqiang Lu of China Oceanwide. “As a world leader in market research and insights, a publisher of many of the tech industry’s most established media brands, and a successful venture investor, IDG’s strong global brand and profile make for an attractive strategic investment for us. We plan to support IDG’s current management team as they implement their business plans, providing them with the autonomy, financial support and commercial resources that can support IDG’s growth and expansion and further enhance its leading position in the market.”
“Pat was not only a great boss, but also a mentor to me for over 22 years,” said Hugo Shong, Founding General Partner of IDG Capital. “IDG’s culture is at the core of its success, and its strength has always been rooted in the talent and dedication of its people. Our focus going forward will be on investing in the company and its people for growth over the long term, as we carry the flag for Pat’s legacy for many years to come.”
IDG’s founder and leader, Patrick J. McGovern, passed away March 2014. His legacy and philanthropic vision will continue with the McGovern Foundation, a new foundation that will be funded by the proceeds from this transaction. This foundation will support neuroscience and IT for the benefit of humanity.
In 2000, Patrick J. McGovern and Lore Harp McGovern donated US$350 million to MIT to set up the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, with a long-term mission to understand the human brain in health and disease. In 2011, Patrick J. McGovern and Lore Harp McGovern also reached agreement with Peking University, Tsinghua University and Beijing Normal University, donating US$10 million to each university to set up IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research in China.
Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as financial advisor, and Foley Hoag LLP and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP acted as legal advisors to IDG. Citigroup acted as financial advisor, and Ropes & Gray LLP and Covington & Burling LLP acted as legal advisors to China Oceanwide. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP acted as legal advisor to IDG Capital.