After Microsoft, Centricus and Triller eye TikTok in India, other countries; submit bid to ByteDance

By: |
August 30, 2020 11:26 AM

The joint bid by Centricus and Triller would include $10 billion in cash upfront while another $10 billion would be in profit-sharing from the resulting venture.

TikTok is being investigated for national security in the US due to its Chinese ownership.India is currently the largest market for TikTok in terms of the number of downloads.

After Walmart and Microsoft, Oracle, Alphabet, and Twitter, London-based investment firm Centricus Asset Management and music video app Triller based in the US have shown interest in the short video app TikTok. The two have jointly submitted a bid to Beijing-based TikTok’s owner ByteDance to acquire its assets in India, Australia, New Zealand, and the US for $20 billion, according to a Bloomberg report. Before Centricus and Triller, Microsoft has also considered buying TikTok’s operations beyond the US particularly in India and Europe. TikTok was among the 59 Chinese apps banned by the Narendra Modi government on June 29, 2020, amid concerns around the national security.

The joint bid by Centricus and Triller would include $10 billion in cash upfront while another $10 billion would be in profit-sharing from the resulting venture, Bloomberg quoted a person in the know of the matter. While Centricus confirmed the bid made, a TikTok spokeswoman called it preposterous. The decision to choose from bids on the table from its multiple suitors could be taken by ByteDance as soon as this weekend.

Also read: Mukesh Ambani buys Big Bazaar: Future Group’s retail, wholesale, logistic biz sold to Reliance Retail

India is currently the largest market for TikTok in terms of the number of downloads. According to statistics portal Statista, based on the data for 55 countries, TikTok had 99.8 million downloads as of June 30, 2020, in India followed by 45.6 million in the US, 34.7 million in Brazil, 30.7 million in Indonesia, 25 million in Russia, 24.2 million in Mexico etc.

Microsoft’s bid backed by Walmart and Oracle have earlier this week submitted their bids to ByteDance and are waiting for latter to enter the final -stage discussions with one of them. Before partnering with Microsoft, Walmart along with Alphabet had plans to bid for TikTok, as per CNBC. Earlier this month, Twitter had reportedly held preliminary talks for a possible acquisition of TikTok’s US operations. However, ByteDance is looking for around $30 billion deal for selling the U.S businesses which its bidders are not willing to offer that amount, the Wall Street Journal had reported.

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