Renren Inc., owner of a Chinese social networking website, jumped to a 13-month high after Sohu.com Inc.’s technology news outlet said the social media platform is in talks to sell its group-buying unit to Baidu Inc.
Renren’s American depositary shares soared 7.1 percent to $4.25 at 11:55 a.m. in New York, set for the highest level since July 2012. Trading volume was more than twice the daily average over the past three months, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.
Baidu, which owns China’s most-used web search engine, has been talking with Renren for two months to buy its Nuomi unit, according to a report on Sohu.com today. Baidu declined to comment for the report and an unidentified Renren media relation manager didn’t have knowledge of the deal, the Sohu report said.
“The driver for Renren’s gain should be speculation that it will sell its Nuomi unit to Baidu, which is positive,” Andy Yeung, an Internet stock analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York, said by phone. “There is also expectation that Renren earnings will do better because the second-quarter results of other Internet companies showed that the overall advertising market is improving.”
Sam Lawn, Renren’s investors relationship director, couldn’t be reached by phone after business hours in Beijing. An e-mail to Renren’s public relations department seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned. Baidu’s Beijing-based spokesman Kaiser Kuo declined to comment on the report by phone.
Renren is scheduled to report second-quarter earnings after markets close tomorrow.