Chinese online hotel booking and airline ticket reservation company Ctrip.com International Ltd. is focusing on more brick and mortar businesses with a new investment in two hotel companies in China.
Ctrip.com has entered into definitive agreements to acquire minority stakes in two hotel operating companies through two separate transactions. Ctrip will acquire minority stakes in each of China Lodging Group Limited and BTG-Jianguo Hotels & Resorts Company Ltd.
For China Lodging Group, Ctrip will subscribe for ordinary shares to be issued by China Lodging and purchase ordinary shares from certain existing shareholders of China Lodging in reliance on Regulation S under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. The aggregate number of ordinary shares that Ctrip will purchase from China Lodging and the selling shareholders pursuant to the agreements will be equal to approximately 8% of China Lodging's total ordinary shares outstanding immediately after the closing of this investment, which is expected to take place concurrently with China Lodging's initial public offering. Ctrip will pay the purchase consideration in cash at a price equal to the initial public offering price of China Lodging's ordinary shares.
China Lodging operates a leading economy hotel chain in China. It offers three hotel products: HanTing Express Hotel, HanTing Seasons Hotel and HanTing Hi Inn. China Lodging has filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with an initial public offering with an estimated price range of USD10.25 to USD12.25 per American Depositary Share.
BTG-Jianguo manages over 60 hotels throughout China, with a focus on mid-to-high end markets. In March 2010, Ctrip entered into an agreement with Hongkong Polaris Hotels Limited whereby Ctrip has agreed to purchase from Polaris a 15% equity interest in BTG-Jianguo with an option to acquire another 10% within one year after the closing. The closing of this transaction is subject to receipt of necessary governmental approval and other customary closing conditions.