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Chinese Online Video Giant Youku Wins Shareholder Approval to Buy Tudou

Youku Logo - H 2012

The companies expect to complete the deal, which will combine the number one and two video sites in the country, "as soon as practicable."

LONDON - The planned combination of the two largest Chinese online video companies took another hurdle on Monday.
 
Youku, the country's largest online video company when looking at revenue, said in a statement that its shareholders have approved its planned acquisition of Tudou, the second-biggest firm in the space.

The two parties expect to complete the deal "as soon as practicable," Youku said. "Upon completion of the merger, Tudou will become a privately held company wholly-owned by Youku, and Tudou's American depositary shares will no longer be listed on the Nasdaq Global Market," it added.

The combined company, which is estimated to have a more than 30 percent share of the Chinese online video market, will be named Youku Tudou. Estimates say it will have more than 450 million Web users.

Youku, led by founder and chairman Victor Koo, has been striking content deals with major Hollywood conglomerates, most recently with the likes of NBCUniversal.

The consolidation move comes as online video has remained a fragmented space in China. Both companies, whose stocks are listed in the U.S., reported losses for 2011 amid higher content costs and spending on online bandwidth.

Email: GeorgSzalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai