Silver Lake leads $500 mln investment in travel site Qunar: Reuters

(Reuters) — Private equity firm Silver Lake Partners LP said on Monday it would lead a $500 million investment in Qunar Cayman Islands Ltd, the Chinese travel website controlled by the country’s internet search engine company Baidu Inc.

In its second biggest investment in China after its deal with e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Silver Lake said it would invest $330 million in Qunar in the form of convertible bonds. An undisclosed investor will commit the remaining $170 million.

The investment underscores the growth potential for companies proving online booking solutions to Chinese consumers, who increasingly access the internet via their mobile phones. Qunar said it would use the money to expand its mobile presence and grow its business lines.

Silver Lake is taking 2 percent senior unsecured convertible notes in Qunar with an initial conversion price of $55 per American depositary share. Qunar’s American depositary shares ended at $46.01 on Monday on the Nasdaq.

Qunar, whose name means “where to go” in Mandarin Chinese, reported revenue of 1.76 billion renminbi ($283 million) in 2014, up from 850.9 million renminbi in 2013. (Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)