Davis Polk and Sidley act on China search engine giant's $1.9bn app store purchase

Davis Polk & Wardwell and Sidley Austin have taken the lead roles on China search engine giant Baidu’s $1.9bn (£1.2bn) buyout of app store 91 Wireless. 

Baidu is set to purchase the entire share capital of the Chinese app distributor as it seeks to boost its profile in the mobile internet market.

Under the terms of the transaction, Baidu will buy a 57.41% stake in the company from parent and online game developer Netdragon and the remaining equity interest from other shareholders.

Davis Polk is acting for Baidu on the transaction, with a team led by Hong Kong corporate partner Paul Chow. The US firm previously advised Baidu in connection with its $370m (£242m) acquisition of the online video business of PPS in May, and on its $306m (£200m) majority investment in Chinese travel search engine Qunar in 2011.

Meanwhile, Sidley is acting for 91 Wireless, with corporate partner Gloria Lam understood to be leading the firm’s team, having previously advised the company on the issuance of $50m (£33m) worth of preferred shares.

Deals within China’s internet industry have soared in recent years as the country’s four industry giants – Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and Sina – have sought a bigger slice of the market.