Australian telecom operator Telstra has announced that it has entered an agreement to sell 47.7% of total shares in Chinese online company Autohome for $1.6 billion to Chinese insurer Ping An Insurance Group. However, the operator will retain 6.5% stake in the company.
“Autohome has played an important role in building our presence in the Chinese technology sector, and we look forward to working with Ping An and Autohome management as a minority investor in the next stage of the company’s evolution,” Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said.
“Autohome has been an excellent investment for Telstra, and demonstrates the opportunities that exist in the Asia-Pacific region. Asia remains one of the key elements of our growth strategy. We continue to grow our enterprise services businesses in the region with strong consolidation opportunities in our Pacnet business, joint venture in Indonesia, and the exploration of future growth opportunities.”
Telstra has been investing in the Asian region for the past few years. In 2014, it acquired Pacnet for $697 million. In January, it acquired Kloud and Qiniu that provide professional and managed cloud services to enterprises.
Telstra Ventures also made investment in Taiwanese video big data and analytics company Gorilla Technology Group in March 2015, saying the company could provide beneficial video analytic software solutions for the government, security, broadcast, and retail sectors.
“We continue to pursue growth opportunities in Asia, consistent with our strategy,” Penn said.