ChinaTravelNews, Jerry Tang - Trip.com Group CEO Ms. Jane Sun has been elected to the Board of Directors of Tripadvisor, serving as the designee of Trip.com Group, as part of the two companies' strategic agreement announced last November.
This indicates that the Chinese OTA giant's plan to invest in Tripadvisor has been approved by US regulator CFIUS.
Last year, the two companies agreed in a deal to form Tripadvisor China, a joint venture focusing on the China market. According to the agreement, Trip.com Group will have a nomination right for one TripAdvisor board seat commencing upon approval of the transaction by The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
To maintain the board nomination right, Trip.com Group must acquire an equity stake in TripAdvisor in an amount representing approximately 5% of TripAdvisor’s issued and outstanding shares of common stock, which shares are expected to be acquired by Trip.com Group in open market transactions by the first anniversary of the CFIUS approval of the arrangement.
In fact, Trip.com Group has been purchasing TripAdvisor shares since last November.
According to the latest SEC filing, from November 19, 2019 to July 13, 2020, Trip.com Group, through its subsidiaries, LVSH and Ctrip HK, purchased 6,422,223 Common Stocks from the open market at a weighted-average price of USD 21.2 per Common Stock.
Together with the shares beneficially owned by Trip.com Group prior to November 19, 2019, Trip.com Group acquired an aggregate of 6,954,228 Common Stocks, or a 5.2% stake, for an aggregate consideration of USD 153.9 million, which was funded substantially by working capital of the Reporting Persons.