Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of data center services provider 21Vianet (NASDAQ:VNET) soared as much as 13% today on the announcements that the company has changed its leadership team as well as that it might go private.
So what: For starters, president Frank Meng is leaving the company to "pursue other opportunities," with his responsibilities being split up among remaining executives. The real catalyst for the jump, however, is the "going private" proposal that Chairman and CEO Josh Sheng Chen, along with Kingsoft Corporation and Tsinghua Unigroup, submitted to the company. The proposal is non-binding, but represents an offer to buy all outstanding American depositary shares for $23 each in cash.
Now what: Shares have jumped and are now trading close to that offer price. The group of buyers notes that the offer represents a nearly 18% premium compared to the average closing price over the past 15 trading days. However, $23 per share is still notably lower than the 52-week high of over $32 set last summer. 21Vianet was utterly demolished last September following a scathing report from Trinity Research Group, alleging that the company fabricated its financial statements and operates an illegal bandwidth reselling network. Shares have remained volatile ever since, and it's no wonder that the company may now be wary of public scrutiny following the controversy. At the same time, the offer on the table certainly represents quite a vote of confidence, and may represent a happy ending for public investors.