In a leftfield move, Priceline has agreed to buy metasearch engine Kayak for $1.8 billion. he deal was announced at the close of the public financial markets today in New York. The transaction values Kayak at $1.8 billion ($1.65 billion net of cash acquired, says a statement) or $40 per share of Kayak, with Priceline paying “approximately $500 million of the consideration in cash and $1.3 billion in equity and assumed stock options”.
Priceline sees its pending acquisition of Kayak as a great financial proposition in its own right, as well as a way to bring on board a stellar technical/mobile team to share expertise with Priceline's team, and the converse, as well.
The deal marks the first time that Priceline has entered the metasearch, travel planning and advertising business, all of which it has historically seen as a distraction to its core business of getting consumers to consummate bookings and transactions.
Kayak will be operated as a separate brand, much in the way that the group’s Priceline.com, Booking.com, Agoda, and CarRentals.com are operated, with each unit’s management having considerable independence.
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