The Priceline Group is acquiring U.K.-based travel search company the Momondo Group in an all-cash transaction worth $550 million.
The Momondo Group operates a number of prominent travel brands, including global flight comparison sight Cheapflights and Momondo, a European search engine for hotels, flights, and cars. As a result of this deal, Momondo’s properties will operate under Priceline’s Kayak arm — a company it snapped up for a whopping $1.8 billion back in 2012.
“Momondo and Cheapflights have built great products serving loyal users across Europe,” said Kayak CEO Steve Hafner. “We’re looking forward to learning from them and sharing best practices as our brands expand globally.”
Today’s news comes less than three months after fellow U.K.-based search giant Skyscanner was acquired by China’s Ctrip for $1.74 billion. Skyscanner CEO Gareth Williams said at the time that he decided to sell because of the “operational independence” afforded by Ctrip.
Priceline has dipped its toes into the U.K. before in search of acquisitions — back in 2004 it bought out hotel reservation service Active Hotels in a $161 million deal, and it also took on U.K. car hire firm TravelJigsaw six years later. In 2014, Priceline made its biggest acquisition to date when it procured U.S.-based restaurant booking service OpenTable for a hefty $2.6 billion.
Priceline went public back in 1999, with a successful IPO, but the company’s shares hit rock bottom following the dotcom crash in 2000. After nine years of fairly poor performance on the market, however, the company has been in steady ascension, climbing from around $72 a share in February 2009 to a staggering $1,600 today. Put simply, Momondo is joining a company that’s flying.
“The Priceline Group has a proven track record of operating successful, customer-centric travel brands all over the world,” said Momondo Group CEO Hugo Burge. “We couldn’t be more excited to join such an esteemed group of loved brands and join forces with Kayak to bring the best in meta search to our growing customer bases worldwide.”