China’s Oceanwide, IDG Capital to buy tech publisher IDG

(Reuters) International Data Group, the owner of PCWorld magazine and market researcher IDC, on Thursday said it was being acquired by China Oceanwide Holdings Group and IDG Capital, the investment management firm run by IDG China executive Hugo Shong.

It is the latest technology and media asset to be sold to Chinese investors, following deals for U.S. companies last year such as television producer Dick Clark Productions, and customer satisfaction firm J.D. Power and Associates.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Reuters previously reported that IDG had been in advanced talks to sell itself to a Chinese buyout group and was seeking between $500 million and $1 billion.

Beijing-based conglomerate Oceanwide, founded by billionaire Lu Zhiqiang, pledged $3.8 billion to take control of U.S. insurer Genworth Financial Inc last year.

IDG will add to its media holdings in China including the Economic Observer, a business newspaper and a performance theater in Xi’an, Oceanwide director Brett Liu said.

IDG’s headquarters will remain in Boston.

Both Oceanwide and IDG Capital had initially bid separately for the entire company last April before IDG’s banker Goldman Sachs suggested they team up, IDG Chairman Walter Boyd said.

Oceanwide will now become the controlling shareholder in IDG’s operating businesses with Shong’s IDG Capital taking a minority stake. IDG Capital will take the majority stake in the IDG venture businesses.

IDG’s venture arm has invested in some of China’s biggest Internet companies such as Baidu, Tencent and International.

Shong, a close associate of late IDG founder Pat McGovern, formed one of China’s first venture capital firms in 1993, initially with IDG’s backing.

The companies said the deal had been cleared by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment and would close in the first quarter.

The deal received approval just as President-elect Donald Trump’s tough commentary on China has made the future of that country’s investment in the United States uncertain.

Sources previously said regulators may dissect IDC, the market research division of the company that consults many U.S. technology companies on IT spending and strategy. Oceanwide is an investor in Hong Kong-computer maker Lenovo, which competes with many U.S. hardware firms.

IDC president Kirk Campbell said that his division does not expect to lose any technology clients. IDG declined to comment on the regulatory review.

Proceeds from the transaction will go to a foundation honoring the late IDG founder.

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