March 25, 2023

DealBook: Citic Capital Sells Stake to Qatar Fund

The Chinese asset management firm Citic Capital Holdings is taking on a new shareholder by agreeing to sell a 22 percent stake to a unit of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.

The deal with Qatar Holding, the value of which was not disclosed, raises the profile of Citic Capital, one of China’s biggest investment firms. Citic, which manages more than $4.4 billion and also counts China’s sovereign wealth fund among its backers, has lately been showing an appetite for deals.

“We warmly welcome Qatar Holding to be our new shareholder,” Yichen Zhang, chief executive of Citic Capital, said in a statement. “Not only will Qatar Holding provide us with an enlarged capital base to fund our business expansion and investments, its significant backing will strengthen our brand positioning meaningfully as the most preferred and committed partner to invest with, both in and outside China.”

The transaction brings the ownership stake of the China Investment Corporation, that country’s sovereign wealth fund, to 31 percent, Citic Capital said. Citic Pacific Limited and Citic International Financial Holdings, two subsidiaries of the Citic Group, now hold a combined 42.8 percent stake.

With offices in China, Japan and the United States, Citic Capital has been stepping up its global presence. The firm, which does business in private equity and real estate, teamed up with the Carlyle Group and other firms this month in an offer to buy Focus Media Holding, a Chinese company listed in New York.

For Qatar Holding, which lately has been making investments in Europe amid the Continent’s crisis, the deal gives it greater access to China. Among the fund’s holdings are investments in the Agricultural Bank of China, Barclays and Credit Suisse.

Qatar Holding has also been actively pressuring Glencore International to pay a higher price for its proposed $30 billion takeover of the mining company Xstrata. Qatar Holding owns about 12 percent of Xstrata and is its second-largest shareholder behind Glencore.

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Media Decoder Blog: Times Co. Discloses Pay Package for Incoming C.E.O.

The New York Times Company is paying its new chief executive, Mark Thompson, an annual salary of $1 million and an immediate signing bonus valued at $3 million.

The compensation package was detailed in securities filings released on Friday morning. In addition to the signing bonus — which will be paid in stock and stock options — Mr. Thompson is eligible for an annual bonus of $1 million.

He is also eligible to receive a separate $3 million bonus for 2013 for meeting long-term incentives, to be paid out over three years.

The bonus payments are not guaranteed unless Mr. Thompson meets certain goals set by the company.

Except for the signing bonus, Mr. Thompson’s compensation is much the same as that of his predecessor, Janet L. Robinson, in terms of annual salary and bonus eligibility. Ms. Robinson left the company in December.

Arthur Sulzberger Jr., The Times’s publisher, announced Mr. Thompson’s appointment Tuesday afternoon, concluding an extensive search. Mr. Thompson had previously been the director general of the British Broadcasting Corporation, but had stated his intention to leave the job after the London Olympics, which ended on Sunday.

Mr. Thompson was involved in expanding the BBC’s digital and global presence, areas that have become more crucial to the Times Company’s strategy in the face of significant challenges to the print newspaper. Mr. Sulzberger had made clear his intention to select someone with deep digital knowledge and experience across a variety of platforms. After Mr. Thompson arrived from London on Tuesday afternoon, he said in an interview that “it’s a privilege” to run the organization and called its newsroom “the envy of the world.”

Mr. Thompson is expected to start his job in November.

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