Sogou recently confirmed that the company had received an initial non-binding proposal from Tencent which aimed to fully acquire Sogou at the price of USD9 per share.
If the transaction was completed, Sogou would become a fully-owned subsidiary of Tencent and it would be delisted from New York Stock Exchange.
Wang Xiaochuan, CEO of Sogou, said that they appreciated Tencent’s recognition of Sogou’s value, technology ability and product innovation ability. The company will carefully discuss and measure relevant issues to allow Sogou to continue to create greater value for users.
Prior to this, Tencent already invested USD448 million in Sogou in September 2013 and gained a 36.5% stake in the latter. After that, Tencent merged its search business and relevant assets into Sogou and Sogou continued its independent operation as a subsidiary of Sohu.
In November 2017, Sohu was listed on New York Stock Exchange.
By March 31, 2020, Tencent was the largest shareholder of Sogou with 39% shares; Sohu was the second largest shareholder with 33.8% shares; Sohu’s CEO Zhang Chaoyang had 6.4% shares; and Sogou’s CEO Wang Xiaochuan had 5.5% shares.
At present, Sogou has several main businesses, including search, input method, and smart hardware. Search and related revenue is the main income source of Sogou.