Yahoo! looks east, buys Kimo

Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) announced Thursday that it will buy Kimo, a web portal in Taiwan, for over $146 million.

Shares of Yahoo were down 4.75 to 60.25 Thursday morning.

Yahoo! said it would issue 2.25 million shares to acquire all of Kimo's outstanding shares, options and warrants, putting the deal at $146.25 million based on yesterday's market close. Additional performance-based cash payments to shareholders of Kimo are also included but were not disclosed. Yahoo! will purchase the firm from financial information and system integration firm Systex. The purchase of Kimo, with its content and Chinese-language expertise, is geared towards giving the U.S.company an edge in mainland China, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang said in a statement.

Semi-official estimates put the number of Chinese Internet users at 17 million, a figure that has doubled every six months over the last two years.

Yang did not comment on how Kimo would fit into China's heavily regulated Internet environment, which requires websites to obtain government approval of content.

According to AC Nielson, Kimo is the most frequently visited site in Taiwan with average page views per day of 25 million in the third quarter of 2000.

The acquisition, which still needs the approval of Taiwanese regulators, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2000.

Reuters contributed to this report.