China's Focus Media Sells Internet Division Allyes To Silver Lake For $124 Million

Focus Media, one of China’s leading digital media groups, this morning announced that it is selling a 62% indirect equity ownership of its Internet division, Allyes, to US-based private investment firm Silver Lake.

Under the terms of the agreement, Silver Lake will pay $124 million to Focus Media, in exchange for the equity ownership of Allyes. Focus Media had acquired the internet advertising service company, reportedly the largest in China, back in February 2007.

Certain remaining shareholders of Allyes also agree to sell their equity ownership in Allyes to Silver Lake, so that in time the investment firm will own a controlling stake in Allyes. The transaction is expected to close soon, subject to customary closing conditions.

Established in 1998, Allyes is said to be the largest online media service provider in China, offering a suite of interactive marketing solutions. Allyes markets a proprietary suite called AdForward,which includes online ad-publishing, creative production, tracking, targeting and performance analysis products.

In December 2008, Google was rumored to be eying Allyes as well, after an acquisition deal with Microsoft fell through, but the deal never materialized.

Silver Lake’s investment portfolio includes companies like Skype, Avaya and IPC.