An "industry source" tells Marbridge Consulting Baidu (BIDU +1.5%) has been talking with Renren (RENN +6.5%) for two months about buying a controlling stake in the latter's Nuomi daily deals unit. However, Nuomi is said to prefer a minority investment.
The source adds Baidu has approached another daily deals site, Dianping, about a possible acquisition, while another source states Baidu is holding investment talks with the own of local search engine Ding Ding Map (30%-owned by Alibaba).
Nuomi's revenue rose 102% Y/Y in Q1, but still only totaled $5.1M. Active paying uses amounted to 3.1M (+69% Y/Y). The business has been a drag on Renren's bottom line for some time; it hurt the company's Q1 net profit by $7.9M.