Interesting timing for IACI exercise of eLong warrant

 |  Includes: CTRP, LONG
by: Ezra Marbach

eLong (NASDAQ:LONG), the Chinese online travel service provider, issued a press release announcing that IACI has completed the purchase of 17,362,134 shares of
eLong stock for $6.21 per high-vote ordinary share, the equivalent of
$12.42 per ADS. eLong's ADS is currently trading at about $15.80. Total
purchase price for IACI: about $108 million. As a result of the
purchase, IAC now owns approximately 52% of eLong, and controls about
96% of the voting power. eLong's financial results will now be
consolidated with those ofIACI, as part of IAC Travel.

The timing is interesting, since China Southern Airlines just announced a JV to enter the China online travel market.