Centricus, Triller Place Bid For TikTok For $20 Billion

Group of investors led by London based Centricus Asset Management Ltd and the United States based Triller Inc – another video and music-based social networking app, have joined forces to bid for the purchasing of the US operations of the Chinese owned short video sharing app TikTok.

Also on sale are TikTok’s operations in a few other countries that are bundled together in the offer.

The app is owned by Beijing based ByteDance Ltd. and reports claimed that the investors have placed a bid of $20 billion for TikTok.

Reports also claimed, quoting sources with knowledge of the matter, that Triller Inc could also be a minority stake holder in a newly proposed joint entity.

Sources were quoted in the reports claiming that the consortium of Centricus and Triller have already submitted their bid to Beijing-based ByteDance for acquiring the business nd assets of TikTok in the US, Australia, New Zealand and India.

According to the reports, the bid includes a cash offering of up of $10 billion to be paid up front and $10 billion in form of a profit sharing arrangement from the resulting new venture.

This new offer is set to rival offers from some other established players in the American tech industry including Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.

The world’s largest retailer Walmart Inc confirmed on Thursday of its intention to bit for the app too jointly with Microsoft.

Reports quoted a TikTok spokesman saying “What’s Triller?” when asked about a Centricus and Triller bid for the app. The potential deal was also called “preposterous” by another spokesperson of the company, according to the reports.

No comments about the issue were available in the media from Centricus and Triller.

The US president Donald Trump had issued an executive order asking ByteDance to sell of TikTok’s US operations to an American company because the Trump administration is concerned that the Chinese company and its app can be a national security threat. The American companies that are in the race to bid for the app include Microsoft Corp and Oracle Corp. the Chinese app claimed that it has about 100 million monthly active users in the US.

An executive order issued by Trump on August 6 effectively banned all American companies form transacting with the Chinese company and its app within a period of 45 days. TikTok is now reportedly preparing for a possible shut down of its US operations if its sell off was not possible with mid-September even though t he company has also filed a lawsuit in the US challenging the executive order. The report also said that the company expects that any shutdown of its US operations would be temporary in nature.

Former investment bankers Nizar Al-Bassam and Dalinc Ariburnu set up Centricus in 2016. The firm advised SoftBank Group Corp. on the creation of its $100 billion Vision Fund. SoftBank’s $3.3 billion takeover of Fortress Investment Group LLC was also aided by the firm.

(Adapted from LiveMint.com)

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