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Focus Media Information Technology formerly Focus Media Holding is a Chinese company which operates the largest out-of-home advertising network in that country, consisting predominantly of digital signage screens, and claims to own the country's largest Internet advertising agency.
|Traded as||SZSE: 002027|
|Jason Jiang, Chairman|
Zhi Tan, CEO
Mingdong Wu, CFO
Congrong Chen, COO
|Products||advertising displays, internet and mobile phone advertisement|
|Revenue||$68.229 million USD (2005)|
|$22.786 million USD (2005)|
|$23.548 million USD (2005)|
Number of employees
As of March 31, 2007, it reported that its network included:
- 83,256 screens showing advertising in sites including office buildings and outdoor
- 40,736 screens in retail outlets, including 842 supermarkets, 1,196 hypermarkets and 1,897 convenience stores
- 124,542 poster frames in elevators
In March 2007, Focus acquired Allyes Information Technology Company, China’s largest online ad agency.
In December 2008, Focus reached an agreement with SINA Corporation that SINA would acquire most of Focus's digital out-of-home business, but the deal was abandoned in September 2009.
In May 2013, Focus Media was taken private in a $3.7 billion transaction by a consortium consisting of The Carlyle Group, FountainVest Partners, CITIC Capital, China Everbright as well as existing shareholders Jason Jiang (founder and Chairman) and Fosun International. The company was then listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange by backdoor listing.
In November 2011, Muddy Waters Research reported massive fraud at the company. It alleged that the company
- has been fraudulently overstating the number of screens in its LCD network by approximately 50%,
- has claimed to acquire, write down, and dispose of companies that it never actually purchased,
- has written at least 21 acquisitions down to zero and then given them away for no consideration,
- has been used by insiders as their counterparty in trading in and out of subsidiary Allyes, with several individuals earning a total of at least $70.1 million, while shareholders lost $159.6 million.
Focus denied the allegations. The Company was subsequently taken private by a private equity consortium in May 2013.
- Soham Chatterjee and Ryan Vlastelica (21 November 2011). "Focus Media plunges after Muddy Waters charges". Reuters. Retrieved 25 November 2011.