Baidu Buying Stake in Renren's Group-Buying Site

Baidu Buying Stake in Renren's Group-Buying Site

Baidu -- the so-called "Google of China" -- announced today that it has agreed to pay $160 million cash to purchase a 59% interest in the Groupon-like Nuomi Holdings subsidiary of Chinese social networking company Renren .

Nuomi will be issuing new shares in exchange for Baidu's cash. In a statement, Baidu described Nuomi as being "a leading provider of group-buying services in China," which some translate into a Chinese version of Groupon, LivingSocial, or any number of other "deals" sites inhabiting the Internet.

Baidu says that Nuomi generated approximately $120 million in sales in Q2 2013, suggesting an annualized revenue stream of at least $480 million -- and about a 0.56-times-sales valuation on the deal. By way of comparison, America's own Groupon shares carry a 2.75-times-sales valuation.

Baidu expects this deal to close in Q4 2013.

Baidu is China's biggest search engine operator. Founded in 2010, Nuomi Holdings, which offers group-buying and local information services in China, had 3.8 million active paying users as of the second quarter, with 30% of sales coming from mobile devices.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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