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Focus Media shareholders OK deal to sell company

NEW YORK (AP) -- Focus Media Holding Ltd. said Monday that its shareholders voted in favor of a deal that will sell the company to a group of investors, including its chief executive, who will take the company private.

The deal values the Chinese advertising company at $3.7 billion. The group buying the company includes Focus Media Chairman and CEO Jason Nanchun Jiang, private equity firm Carlyle Group and a handful of Chinese investors.

About 78.7 percent of Focus Media's total outstanding ordinary shares voted either in person or by proxy at a recent shareholder meeting. Of those shares, about 99.5 percent were voted in favor of the deal, the company said.

The deal is expected to be completed in May. Once that happens, Focus Media will become a privately held company, and its U.S. shares will no longer be listed on the Nasdaq stock market, the company said.

Focus Media originally announced plans to go private 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.

Focus Media shares rose 8 cents to $27.28 in morning trading.