A source close to Youku (YOKU) tells Marbridge Consulting Tencent (TCEHY) has reached a tentative deal to buy a 20% stake in the Chinese online video platform for at least $300M in cash. Tencent would merge its own sizable online video business into Youku as part of the deal.
Marbridge has a mixed track record with M&A rumors. Youku rallied last July on a rumor from a Chinese site regarding a Baidu stake purchase.
Helping Marbridge's report appear plausible: Tencent has already spent nearly $400M this month to buy stakes in e-commerce firm JD.com and real estate site Leju, as it battles with Baidu and Alibaba for Chinese Web/mobile supremacy on a number of fronts.