Baidu’s Travel Service Qunar Files for $125 Million U.S. IPO
Qunar Cayman Islands Ltd., an online travel service provider controlled by Baidu Inc. (BIDU), seeks to raise as much as $125 million in the biggest U.S. initial public offering by a Chinese company in two years.
Qunar, which runs China’s most popular mobile travel app, plans to sell American depositary shares and to list on the New York Stock Exchange, according to its filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG are lead underwriters of the deal.
Baidu, operator of China’s largest search engine, paid $306 million in 2011 for a majority stake in Qunar to tap the country’s growing travel market. Qunar reported sales of $58.5 million for the six months ended June 30 and a net loss of $2.8 million during the period, it said in the filing.
“It looks like they are on the path to break-even just in sight, and having a powerful parent sponsor is very helpful for its IPO success,” Francis Gaskins, president of Marina Del Rey, California-based researcher IPOdesktop.com, which monitors initial public offerings, said a phone interview. “The market for Chinese IPOs is a lot healthier than it was two years ago.”
Tudou Holdings Ltd., a video website, raised $174 million in an August 2011 U.S. offering. Tudou was acquired in August 2012 by Beijing-based Youku Inc., China’s biggest online video company.
LightInTheBox Holding Co. (LITB) a Beijing-based online retailer that raised $78.9 million in a June IPO, has climbed 25 percent. Montage Technology Group Ltd. (MONT) has returned 42 percent since its $71 million IPO on Sept. 25.
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