Like many Western companies before it, the Priceline Group, according to chief executive Glenn Fogel, is reviewing its options on how to further invest in China and Asia more broadly.
Discounting in China makes it especially tough for public companies that have to be concerned with shareholders and profits.
Priceline holds slightly more than 4 percent of Ctrip’s equity. When adding in its convertible debt stake, that stake hits around 9 percent. The current agreement allows Priceline to own up to 15 percent of Ctrip.
Priceline’s Booking.com provides international hotel inventory to Ctrip and brings the outbound Chinese guest to Booking.com.
Skift Research expects the partnership to continue rather than Priceline outright acquiring Ctrip, especially with Baidu also owning 20 percent of Ctrip.
Among the factors, Ctrip has a $29 billion market capitalization, and the Chinese government has been showing a distaste for foreign companies buying homegrown ones. With its more than $100 billion market cap, Priceline would be a tad pricy for Ctrip to acquire.
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