Mon, Jun. 1, 7:35 PM
- "On May 8, 2015, we received an unsolicited offer from Ctrip.com International (NASDAQ:CTRP), Ltd., or Ctrip, to acquire all of our outstanding shares," says Qunar (NASDAQ:QUNR) in its Q1 report. "After careful consideration of such offer, we declined to pursue it in a letter response dated June 1, 2015 ... we remain open to engaging in further discussions with Ctrip as well as with other strategic players in our sector."
- Bloomberg reported of Ctrip/Qunar merger talks back in 2014; antitrust approval of a deal could prove difficult, given the companies' combined Chinese online travel share. Since the time of Ctrip's offer, Ctrip has struck a deal to buy a 37.6% stake in smaller rival eLong, and has received a new $250M investment from Priceline.
- Also: Effective today, Qunar has terminated its Zhixin cooperation agreement with parent Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), through which Qunar ran an online travel marketplace for which Baidu promised to drive a guaranteed amount of traffic. SA author John Zhang has argued the deal was unfair to Qunar, noting (among other things) Baidu gets 76% of all Zhixin revenue beyond a "benchmark" level, and that Qunar has been paying Baidu huge sums for marketing services.
- Baidu has been given (and has exercised) warrants for 11.45M Qunar Class B shares (equal to 3.82M ADS, current value of $180M) for the traffic it drove. At the same time, Baidu is paying Qunar an RMB207M ($33.4M) termination fee.
- Meanwhile, Qunar has entered into a deal with Baidu (expires in May 2016, subject to renewal) through which "Baidu has agreed to grant Qunar an exclusive right to integrate hotel information and products into the PC and mobile app versions of Baidu Maps."
- On an RMB basis, Qunar is guiding for 105%-110% Y/Y Q2 revenue growth, a faster clip than Q1's 100%. The consensus is for 75.9% dollar-based growth.
- QUNR +2.3% AH to $47.05.
Fri, May 22, 9:09 AM
- Ctrip (NASDAQ:CTRP) has jumped to $76.00 (its 52-week high) in premarket trading following news it's part of an investor group that has bought a 62.4% stake in smaller/struggling rival eLong from Expedia, and that it's partnering with Expedia in "specified geographic markets." In a PR about the move, Ctrip states it spent $400M to buy a 37.6% stake.
- Archrival Qunar (NASDAQ:QUNR), whose shares were up 86% YTD going into today with the help of good earnings news, has fallen to $50.50.
- Ctrip's alliance with Expedia might not sit well with Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN), which last year struck a deal to buy up to a 10% stake in Ctrip.
Fri, May 22, 8:29 AM
- Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) announces it sold a 62.4% stake in eLong (NASDAQ:LONG) for $671M.
- The eLong business has been an ongoing drag on profits for Expedia.
- One of the buyers in the group is Ctrip.com (NASDAQ:CTRP).
- As part of the sale agreement, Expedia and Ctrip.com agreed to cooperate in certain geographic markets.
- LONG +36.4% premarket to $28.17.
Sep. 2, 2014, 6:38 PM
- Chinese online travel giant Ctrip (NASDAQ:CTRP) is buying Celebrity Century, an 1,814-passenger cruise ship, from Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL). Terms are undisclosed.
- Royal Caribbean describes Celebrity Century as having "old world elegance combined with modern luxury." Ctrip plans to renovate the ship, which was originally launched in 1995, to "provide an outstanding cruise experience to China's leisure travelers."
- Ctrip mentions it's already China's largest cruise agency (10%+ share), and has sent 120K+ travelers on cruises to date. The company plans to form a JV with Royal Caribbean to "manage the operations of the acquired cruise ship and potentially broaden the relationship."
Jul. 3, 2014, 10:27 AM
- An "industry insider" tells Marbridge Consulting Ctrip (CTRP +0.9%) plans to buy Expedia's (EXPE +2%) 65% stake (82.4% voting right) in rival Chinese travel bookings site eLong (LONG +4.4%) through a share swap that would value eLong (current market cap of $754M) at $800M-$1B.
- Marbridge notes Tencent owns 15% of eLong's voting rights, and that Ctrip and Tencent have jointly invested in two companies - one of them is LY.com, which Ctrip recently poured $200M into.
- eLong and Expedia are trading higher. Some of Marbridge's scoops have panned out, and others haven't.
Apr. 8, 2014, 9:37 AM
- Bloomberg reports leading Chinese travel sites Ctrip (CTRP +5.4%) and Qunar (QUNR +5.4%) are "discussing a range of possibilities, from a full-blown merger to a partnership."
- Sources caution the talks are at an early stage, and that ownership structure and financing haven't yet been agreed upon.
- With combined 2013 sales of more than $1B, a Ctrip-Qunar merger would create a Chinese online/mobile travel powerhouse ... provided regulators don't object. The companies have been aggressively battling for mobile customers, sacrificing margins in the process.
- Ctrip and Qunar are both rallying. Rival eLong (LONG +1.9%) is also higher amid positive early trading for recently-pressured Chinese Internet stocks.
- Baidu (BIDU +1.8%) owns 58.6% of Qunar, which delivered a strong IPO last year.
Jul. 10, 2013, 9:06 AM
Jul. 10, 2013, 8:23 AM
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