Harneys advises Baidu in US$2.5 billion Chinese travel sector transaction

In an all share swap deal completed in October 2015, Harneys acted as Cayman Islands counsel in relation to Baidu Inc (NASDAQ) selling its controlling stake in Qunar Cayman Islands Ltd (NASDAQ) to Ctrip.com International, Ltd (NASDAQ). Ctrip is the leading online travel company in China.

The deal represents a significant alliance between the two biggest players in China’s online travel agency (OTA) market providing the opportunity for significant creation of shareholder value in both companies.

Under the deal, Ctrip now owns approximately 45 per cent of Qunar’s voting shareholding, while Baidu now owns approximately 25 per cent of Ctrip's voting shareholding. Ctrip has now become the largest institutional shareholder of Qunar, while Baidu has become the largest shareholder of Ctrip. The tie-up has taken the combined market valuation of the two online travel firms to US$15.6 billion.

The Harneys team consisted of Partner Ian Mann, Counsel Raymond Ng and Senior Associate Jayesh Chatlani.