Chinese search engine provider Baidu Inc. intends to buy a Chinese mobile app store for USD1.9 billion.
Baidu has signed a memorandum of understanding for a proposed acquisition of all equity interests in NetDragon's 91 Wireless Websoft Limited.
Started in 2007, 91 Wireless develops and operates two smartphone app distribution platforms in China, named 91 Assistant and HiMarket. The company also runs community websites, 91 Launcher, 91 Panda Reader, as well as other products for smartphone users.
91 Wireless claims over 10 billion apps have been downloaded through the 91 Smartphone Apps Marketplaces and it says it is the third largest app marketplace in China.
According to the MOU, Baidu will purchase the entire issued share capital of 91 Wireless for a total of USD1.9 billion. Baidu and Hong Kong-based NetDragon will further negotiate and agree on the relevant terms of the acquisition in the definitive agreements by August 14, 2013, to purchase NetDragon's 57.41% equity interest in 91 Wireless.
Baidu intends to purchase the remaining equity interests in 91 Wireless from other shareholders based on terms and conditions similar to those offered to NetDragon, provided those shareholders are willing to sell.