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Chinese ad firm to leave US stock market in buyout

BEIJING (AP) -- A Chinese advertising company says it has agreed to be taken private and removed from U.S. stock markets in the biggest transaction of its kind for China.

Focus Media Holding Ltd. said Thursday it will be bought by a group that includes its chairman, private equity firm Carlyle Group and Chinese investors. The transaction values the company at $3.7 billion.

Focus Media announced plans for the change in August and complained U.S. markets were undervaluing its shares. The company was formed in 2003 and operates electronic advertising displays in elevators, grocery stores and other locations.

Several other Chinese companies have withdrawn from U.S. stock exchanges this year following accusations of improper accounting by some and a dispute between Beijing and Washington about who can oversee their China-based auditors.