Shares of Sohu.com Limited (NASDAQ:SOHU) soared on Tuesday after the company announced its subsidiary Sogou (NYSE:SOGO) is being acquired by Chinese conglomerate Tencent Holdings (OTC:TCEHY) for $1.18 billion. Sogou stock barely moved on the news since it already had spiked higher in July when Tencent first made the buyout offer.
Tencent stock was also largely unchanged. By contrast, Sohu stock was up 8% as of 12:00 p.m. EDT, but had traded as much as 20% higher earlier in the session.
As is often the case with stocks out of China, the business structure can be a little complicated. Sohu operates various web properties and owns subsidiaries, including search engine Sogou and former publicly traded online-game company Changeyou. As per the announced agreement, Tencent is acquiring all of Sogou in the deal and taking it private.
As a result, Sogou's American Depository Shares (ADS) will stop trading on the New York Stock Exchange when the deal closes.
Tencent's buyout of Sogou is expected to take place in the fourth quarter and is worth $9 per share. Sogou's ADS are within about 1% of that price, offering little upside for shareholders. In short, there's not much reason for investors to buy or hold Sogou stock at this point.
Sohu will get an infusion of cash that it can plow back into its business, and that's good news. The company's total revenue was only up 5% year over year in 2019, and it was down 9% year over year in the second quarter of 2020. It needs to find growth avenues, and having a pile of cash could help with that if smartly allocated .