Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is advising Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. on a $1.58 billion proposal to buy Beijing-based digital mapping company AutoNavi Holdings Ltd.
Hangzhou-based Alibaba, which already owns 28 percent of AutoNavi, has offered to buy the remaining ordinary shares for $5.25 apiece. Nasdaq-listed AutoNavi offers digital map content and navigation solutions in China for mobile and Internet platforms.
The acquisition of AutoNavi will allow Alibaba to integrate location information for its lifestyle sites that allow users to rate restaurants, hotels, shops and service providers.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett Hong Kong partner Kathryn Sudol is advising Alibaba on the transaction, with Fangda Partners as Chinese counsel. Maples and Calder Hong Kong partners Greg Knowles and Richard Spooner are serving as Cayman Islands counsel.**
AutoNaivi is being represented by Kirkland & Ellis Hong Kong partner David Zhang.*
*Updated, 2/17/14: This story has been updated to confirm Kirkland & Ellis’ role as legal counsel to AutoNaivi.
**Updated, 2/24/14: This story has been updated to include the Maples and Calder partners advising Alibaba on Cayman Islands law.