Three private equity houses are investing $180 million in web portal Sina (NSDQ: SINA), one of China’s biggest online businesses, according to reports from Reuters.com and WSJ, citing sources. Sequoia Capital is joining with Chinese investment groups Fountainvest Partners and CITIC Capital to back a management-led purchase of 5.6 million new shares, worth 9.4 percent of the company. The new money will in part fund new acquisitions.
Sina in fact announced the share placement officially in September — which will see the shares go to New-Wave Investment Holding Company Limited, a British Virgin Islands-based investment vehicle — but until now it has been unclear where CEO Charles Chao and colleagues would get financial backing for the scheme. This deal comes after Sina’s proposed merger with ad group Focus Media (NSDQ: FMCN) was blocked by Chinese regulatory authorities.