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China Investor Group Drops Bid for Hurray

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese investor group Best Prospect Overseas Ltd said on Friday it was withdrawing its offer to acquire 51 percent of Hurray Holding Co Ltd (HRAY.O), a day after it raised a bid for the U.S.-listed ringtone provider.

“We gave Hurray’s board enough time and our patience has been worn away,” Jacky Tung, who led the group, said in a telephone interview with Reuters.

He added that the investor group would not rule out the possibility of taking other measures for a stake in Hurray, and hoped for a reshuffle of the company’s board.

Best Prospect had said it would increase its offer to $4.00 per Hurray’s American Depository Shares, from $3.50 previously, but also threatened to walk away if Hurray did not respond by a deadline on Thursday.

Best Prospect’s offer to buy 51 percent stake in Hurray would have been better than an outright takeover which would have left shareholders little choice but to exit at the offer price and miss out on Hurray’s future growth, Tung said in a letter to Hurray’s Chairman Qindai Wang.

Tung, also president of closely-held Joy Media Group, told Reuters on Monday that the investor group might sweeten its offer to buy Hurray, boosting Hurray’s share price 21 percent to $2.50 on that day.

Shares of the company were trading flat at $2.15 in late morning trade on Nasdaq.

Hurray, which was spun off from network service provider UTStarcom Inc (UTSI.O), owns Chinese independent record labels Huayi Brothers Music, Freeland Music, New Run Entertainment, Secular Bird and Seed Music Group. The Beijing-based firm also organises concerts. (US$1=6.832 Yuan)

By Samuel Shen