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Giant Interactive receives $2.8B buyout offer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Giant Interactive Group, a Chinese online game developer and operator, has received an approximately $2.8 billion acquisition offer from a group that includes its chairman.

The company said Monday that the group, which includes Chairman Yuzhu Shi and an affiliate of Baring Private Equity Asia, offered $11.75 per American depositary share. That's a 16 percent premium to Giant Interactive's closing price of $10.13 per share on Friday.

Each ADS represents one ordinary share.

Giant Interactive Group Inc. has about 239.6 million outstanding shares, according to FactSet.

The company said that its board — excluding Shi — is evaluating the preliminary offer. It plans to form a special committee of independent directors not affiliated with anyone in the bidding group to evaluate the proposal and consider other strategic alternatives.

Shi resigned as CEO of Giant Interactive in April, with Wei Liu named as his successor. Liu had previously served as the company's president.