China’s Shanda (NSDQ: SNDA) is adding online video to its growing digital media empire, through the acquisition of user-gen video site Ku6.com. It’s an all-stock deal; Ku6 will keep its name, becoming a subsidiary of Hurray, the mobile content company Shanda bought out this summer. Full financials were not disclosed, though the companies said certain Ku6 executive staff need to stick around for up to two years to get a complete payoff. Forbes sources say the deal is worth no more than $50 million; it’s expected to close in the first quarter of 2010.
Founded in 2006, Ku6 competes with other popular online video sites like Tudou.com and Youku.com; partnering with Hurray to offer mobile video services — among other features — could help the company differentiate. Ku6 was backed by two rounds of funding from DFJ, DT Capital Partners, UMC Capital and SBI Broadband Fund; the company raised at least $30 million.
This is the latest deal aimed at making Shanda a more comprehensive on- and offline media company; it just announced JV with Hunan Broadcasting and Television Group (Hunan TV), one of China’s leading TV brands, to create and distribute new movies and TV shows. This follows the spin-off and IPO of its games unit, Shanda Games. Release.