China's Largest Online Travel Firm Ctrip Seeks to Delist from Nasdaq

July 28, 2020 10:26 pm

Beijing (PingWest)—Ctrip (NASDAQ: TCOM), China’s largest online travel firm, is in talks with potential investors about funding its delisting from Nasdaq, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The company's management has reached out to a number of financial and strategic investors including private equity firms and domestic tech companies to join in the privatization deal, said the report.

The delisting discussions are at an early stage and are subject to change.

US-listed Chinese companies are facing tightened review and stricter audit requirements from US regulators, amid the escalating geopolitical tensions between the world’s two largest economies. Some Chinese companies have decided to give up their listings in New York and move to an exchange closer to home.

According to Refinitiv's data, there have been six announced take-privates of U.S.-listed Chinese companies worth $9.1 billion so far this year.

Ctrip has held preliminary talks with Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing about a possible secondary listing, Reuters reported in January. 

In addition to the domestic market, Ctrip is focusing on business expansion outside of China. The Chinese company acquired global metasearch player Skyscanner in December 2016 for $1.74 billion. In 2019, It joined hands with Tripadvisor to established a global joint venture in China, and also signed a global content licensing agreement, in which Ctrip will distribute TripAdvisor’s content.

Due to the continuing impact of COVID-19, the company reported that net revenue for the first quarter of 2020 was down 42% year-on-year, with a net loss of 5.4 billion yuan ($754 million). 

Ctrip, with a current market value of 16.5 billion, was founded by James Liang and Fan Min, and went public on Nasdaq in 2003.