CK Hutchison Holdings Limited - Media Center > Press Releases
Press Releases
Related Topics
Press Releases

Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung Kong ( Holdings )
invest in US-based priceline.com Inc.

Hong Kong, 0800 hours, 16th February 2001

Hutchison Whampoa Limited ("Hutchison") and Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited ("Cheung Kong") announced today that they have entered into an agreement with Priceline.com Inc. ("Priceline.com") , pursuant to which Hutchison and Cheung Kong has each invested approximately US$25 million (approx.HK$195 million) , for a total of approximately US$50 million (approx. HK$390 million) in the common stock of US-based priceline.com. Priceline.com's securities are listed for trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol PCLN.

Hutchison, which has already formed an alliance with priceline.com to bring its unique "Name Your Own Price "business model to Asia, subscribed together with Cheung Kong for approximately 24 million new shares of priceline.com common stock at US$2.10 per share, a price based on the market prices of priceline.com common stock during the negotiation period.

In a separate transaction, Hutchison and Cheung Kong also acquired an additional 5.6 million shares each of priceline.com common stock at US$2.10 per share from priceline.com founder Jay S. Walker and his affiliate. Following completion of these transactions, Hutchison and Cheung Kong each holds approximately 8.77% ( together approximately a combined 17.54% ) equity interest in priceline.com. In conjunction with these transactions, Hutchison has appointed Ian F. Wade, Group Managing Director of Hutchison's A.S. Watson Group, to assume a seat on priceline.com's Board of Directors.

Hutchison also reaffirmed its commitment to priceline.com's business model by increasing its interest in Hutchison-Priceline Limited ("HPL") . Hutchison's interest in HPL will increase to 65% with the subscription of approx.US$9.5 million (approx. HK$74 million) in convertible notes of HPL. Hutchison and Cheung Kong would also have an exclusive right for a period of six months to negotiate with priceline.com on the set up of a potential business in Japan.

Hutchison Group Managing Director Canning Fok said, "We know priceline.com well from our partnership in Asia, and are excited at its long-term growth prospects. We are impressed with the proven strength of priceline.com's business model, and the tremendous brand recognition that it has built since its inception only three years ago. We at Hutchison are therefore very pleased to participate in the future of this company as a significant investor and an active member of the Board of Directors. In the meantime, we are preparing for the launch of our Hutchison-Priceline business in Asia."

"Priceline.com is delighted to welcome Hutchison and Cheung Kong as strategic investors, "said priceline.com Chairman Richard S. Braddock. "We have been pleased by how well Hutchison and priceline.com have worked together to develop our Asian partnership, and now we have both Hutchison and Cheung Kong as partners in a much deeper sense. We have a shared vision in the long-term success of priceline.com, and with the considerable commercial experience and entrepreneurial skills that Hutchison and Cheung Kong bring to the table, we are now better positioned than ever to realise that vision, "he added.

About Cheung Kong

Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited is the flagship of the Cheung Kong Group which consist of four leading Hang Seng Index constituent stocks - Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited, Hutchison Whampoa Limited, Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Limited and Hongkong Electric Holdings Limited. Cheung Kong Holdings' major businesses include Property Development and Management; IT/Internet operations; and Investments.

About Hutchison Whampoa

Hutchison Whampoa ("Hutchison") is a Hong Kong-based multinational conglomerate with a market capitalisation of about US$53 billion. Hutchison's consolidated turnover in 1999 was over US$7.1 billion, and earnings after tax and exceptional items were approximately US$15.1 billion.

Hutchison has five core businesses which includes ports and related services; telecommunications and e-commerce; property and hotels; retail and manufacturing; energy and infrastructure. The Group is one of the leading owners and operators of Internet and telecommunications infrastructure, offering a wide range of related services. These include fixed-line services, internet services, fiber optics broadband networks, mobile telephony (voice and data) , paging, trunked mobile radio, VSAT and radio broadcasting services.

About priceline.com

priceline.com is the Name Your Own Pricesm Internet pricing system that provides services across four broad product categories: a travel service that offers leisure airline tickets, hotel rooms and rental cars; a personal finance service that offers home mortgages, refinancing and home equity loans through an independent licensee; an automotive service that offers new cars; and a telecommunications service that offers long distance calling services. Priceline.com licenses its business model to independent licensees, including priceline mortgage and certain international licensees. In these arrangements, priceline.com generally receives royalties for licensing its intellectual property. priceline.com also holds securities carrying the right to purchase a significant equity stake in the licensees under certain conditions. Unless those rights are exercised, the results of licensee operations will not be included in priceline.com's financial statements.

For further information, please contact:

Hutchison Whampoa LtdCheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd
Ms Laura CheungMrs Wendy Tong Barnes
Tel: ( 852 ) 2128 1289Tel: ( 852 ) 2122 2150
Fax: ( 852 ) 2128 1766Fax: ( 852 ) 2128 8309