Baidu to sell stake in China’s largest online travel agency Ctrip

The search engine giant will see millions of dollars from the divestment.

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China’s largest online travel agency Ctrip disclosed on Thursday that its shareholder Baidu is offering 31.3 million American depositary shares (ADSs) it holds in the company, according to a press release.

The offering comes with a 30-day option to purchase 4.7 million additional ADSs from Baidu. Ctrip itself will not issue or sell any ADSs as part of the process. Other details including pricing are yet to be made public.

Nasdaq-listed Ctrip closed at USD 32.15 per share on Wednesday, up by 1.26% from the previous day’s closing.

Baidu will see a return of millions of dollars from this divestment. Meanwhile, its core business is slowing and external investments are expanding.

Baidu experienced a net loss of RMB 327 million (USD 49 million) in the first quarter of this year, its first-ever quarterly loss since going public in 2005. In the second quarter, it booked RMB 2.4 billion (USD 351 million) in net income, down 62% year-on-year.

The internet company is also shopping for various assets to enrich its ecosystem. Earlier this month, Baidu poured RMB 1.4 billion (USD 200 million) into Neusoft Holdings, which owns Neusoft Group, China’s first software developer that was listed in the country’s stock market. It also partnered with short video app Kuaishou to invest USD 434 million in Zhihu, a Chinese counterpart to Quora.