Tom Online shares jump on expected eBay deal

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NEW YORK - Shares of Tom Online Inc. jumped as much as 18% on Tuesday on expectations that it will form a joint venture with eBay Inc . in China.

EBay, the world's biggest online auctioneer, will roll its China business into the venture with Beijing-based Tom Online, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

Under the plan, Tom Online would control 51% of the venture and eBay would hold the remaining 49%, the source said. Both companies declined to comment.

EBay's move would be the latest example of a Western media company ceding control of its China operation in the face of a tough market. Shares of eBay fell 0.4% to $32.29 on the Nasdaq after closing down 1.5% on Monday.

The U.S. shares of Tom Online rose to a session high of $18.20 in heavy trading, before easing back to $17.67, still up 13%. Tom Online's Hong Kong shares had risen 14% in Asian trading on Tuesday before being suspended.

Tom Online is an Internet and wireless media specialist controlled by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing.
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