Salem Radio Network News Monday, November 29, 2021

Business

Exclusive-Ping An seeks to sell $2.1 billion stake in Autohome -sources

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Financial conglomerate Ping An Insurance Group of China is seeking to offload its 44% stake in auto services portal Autohome, three people familiar with the situation told Reuters.

Ping An, which is currently the biggest shareholder of Beijing-based Autohome via an offshore entity, has held talks with several strategic and private equity investors for the stake in recent months, said the people.

The stake would be worth around $2.15 billion based on Authome’s current valuation.

Autohome faces growing difficulties in China where automakers, in particular electric vehicle (EV) makers, increasingly rely on their own distribution networks instead of dealerships for sales, said two of the people.

That has affected the business of many dealers in the world’s biggest auto market and then forced them to cut budgets for online portals like Autohome, said the people.

Founded in 2005, Autohome mainly serves as an information portal for automobile buyers and an online car-trading marketplace in China.

Advertisements and fees from automakers and dealers generally account for more than 80% of its revenue as they use its platform for services including brand and sales promotions.

Ping An, China’s largest insurer by market value, declined to comment on “market rumours”. Autohome, which is listed in both New York and Hong Kong, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Julie Zhu and Kane Wu; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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