TikTok owner ByteDance is offering to buy back shares from employees for $160 apiece

By Brenda Goh and Josh Ye

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese company ByteDance, the parent company of short-video app TikTok, is offering to buy back shares from its employees outside the United States for $160 apiece, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, the company confirmed .

The price per restricted stock unit is in line with an offer the company made in October to current and former U.S. employees, according to a Reuters report that said the company wanted at least $300 million worth of shares US dollars at a price of $160 per share.

The price valued the company at $223.5 billion, about 26% lower than its valuation a year earlier, the Reuters report said. Last year, ByteDance was valued at $300 billion as part of a buyback program offered to its employees outside the United States.

The recent price of $160 is higher than the $155 price set in a previous buyback in April, the person added.

A ByteDance spokesperson confirmed the stock repurchase plan for employees outside the U.S., saying it aims to provide employees with liquidity options through such programs. Since 2017, the company has offered buyback programs twice a year to eligible current and former employees.

Buybacks allow employees to redeem shares without having to wait for the company to go public. An IPO by ByteDance has been highly anticipated for years, but the company has said since 2021 that it no longer has any immediate plans amid Beijing’s increased scrutiny of Chinese tech giants.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh in Shanghai and Josh YE in Hong Kong; Editing by Mark Potter)

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