Baidu Waimai is rumored to be in merger talks with Ele.me

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According to a Caijing report, after Baidu Waimai (the food delivery unit of Chinese search engine company Baidu Inc.) discussions with S.F. Express (SF) were called off, Baidu Waimai maintained financial connections with Ele.me. Negotiations between both parties are now reaching a close, and if everything goes smoothly, results will be released within 2-3 weeks. In response to this, Ele.me said this is a market rumor and would not comment on it.

According to reports, two months ago Baidu Waimai was conducting financial connections with SF, but then negotiations were called off by both parties. According to information leaked out by a close source of Baidu Waimai, the negotiations between Baidu Waimai and Ele.me involved purchasing and that both parties have already reached a verbal agreement. After the transaction is complete, Baidu might hold shares in Ele.me but the details on the proportion of shareholdings is not known yet.

Not long after conducting the first round of independent financing in July 2015 by Baidu Waimai, it had already begun to have talks with SF, but the relationship only remained at a level of “maintaining financial connections”, and made no substantial forward progress. The reason behind this was that SF “had not worked out its own capital”. Then later, SF began to take more actions when on Feb. 24, 2017, SF Holdings went on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

It is said that the negotiations between Baidu Waimai and SF are taking place in accordance with their financial connections. SF became a shareholder in Baidu Waimai with the investment of 200 million USD, which also includes a blanket agreement between SF and Baidu Group. A close source to the trade shared that SF not only highly values Baidu’s takeaway’s business ability, but also likes the whole Baidu system. The “blanket agreement was in connected with Baidu’s manless driving.

In addition, some leaked information says that Alibaba might want to purchased Ele.me, but those negotiations are still in process. In 2015 Alibaba purchased a shareholding of 27.7% in Ele.me with the investment of 1.25 USD, becoming the largest stock holder in the Ele.me. Bloomberg stated on May 2017 that Alibaba made another investment in Ele.me of at least 1 billion USD.

 

This article by Wang Jin-xu originally appeared in Leiphone and was translated by Pandaily.

Click here to read the original Chinese article.

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