Alibaba Group Holding (NYSE:BABA) has finally come to an agreement to buy the South China Morning Post for $266 million. News of purchase has been posted over the last few weeks, but the group had yet to finalize the deal until today.
The acquisition will include the newspaper and all of its media assets under the control of SCMP Ground Ltd. (0583:HK). Uncertainty for the company’s future was cited as being the main reason behind the newspaper’s sale. The company believes that Alibaba will have greater success in keeping the 112-year-old newspaper in circulation.
Hong Kong’s leading newspaper, the South China Morning Post, will be purchased in an all-cash deal, and reports on issues that are sensitive to mainland China. Many analysts speculate that Alibaba will be able to revive the newspaper, and are eagerly awaiting the transfer of the company to determine the newspaper’s future. The same analysts are interested in seeing if the reporters and editorial staff will remain with the company.
Alibaba made a statement that indicated that the newspaper will remain editorial independent.
This is the second time in six months that Alibaba has invested in or acquired media companies. The company paid $194 million for a stake in China Business News in June 2015.