SHANGHAI – China Grand Automotive Services Co., Ltd. announced on December 29 in a statement that it plans to buy the partnership shares that Yin Xiaoliang, the natural person holds in Shanghai Xcar, which are worth ¥138 million ($21.23 million), accounting for 6 percent of the total partnership shares of Shanghai Xcar.
Through this move, China Grand Auto has begun a process to acquire xcar.com.cn, a vertical online automotive portal.
Rumor had it that China Grand Auto was about to buy xcar.com.cn earlier in October. The announcement this time makes it clear how China Grand Auto will complete the acquisition. Shanghai Xcar Investment, a subsidiary of China Grand Auto, is currently acquiring 100 percent of stakes in America CBS Corp. (the actual controlling shareholder of xcar.com.cn) and all the subjects, interest, assets and business related to the website. This serves as proof that China Grand Auto is to acquire xcar.com.cn via its subsidiary.
Shanghai Xcar Investment was established in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone on October 26. The total subscribed capital was ¥2.3 billion, with ¥1.3 billion (56.52 percent) from Urumqi Phoenix Equity Investment Management Limited Partnership and its equity fund, ¥520 million (22.60 percent) from Xinjiang Guanghui Industry Investment Group Corp., ¥240 million (10.44 percent) from Yin Xiaoliang and ¥240 million (10.44 percent) from other investors, possibly the founding team of xcar.com.cn.
Right after China Grand Auto became the country’s largest vehicle dealership group (with annual revenues of over ¥100 billion) through its recent acquisition of Baoxin Auto, the company has immediately set its sights on the internet. Among all vertical automotive websites, xcar.com.cn is the earliest one to focus on owner community. However, the website started to lag behind competitor websites a few years ago due to a change in CBS Corp.’s China strategy.