Chinese online travel agency Ctrip has acquired Skyscanner, a UK based flight search engine company for £1.4 billion or $1.74 billion in cash, ordinary shares and loan notes. Ctrip says that the acquisition will help it in long term growth and will use its own resources to help Skyscanner.
Ctrip will get all of Skyscanner’s shares and acquire the remaining shares from other shareholders. The acquisition is expected to be closed by the end of this year. According to a TechCrunch report, Ctrip’s Q3 2016 revenues were $810 million, up 75% year on year, and at a net profit of $4 million. Ctrip also raised $1 billion via convertible notes.
Post the Ctrip acquisition, Skyscanner will operate independently under its present management team. It claims to have 60 million monthly active users (MAUs) and is available in 30 languages. The company claims to have a growing presence in Asia Pacific and the Americas, given that it operates in the UK and Europe primarily.
At the start of this year, Skyscanner had raised $192 million from Khazanah Nasional Berhad and Yahoo! Japan among other investors, for expansion to other markets around the world and for acquisitions. In June last year, TripHobo partnered with Skyscanner to allow users to compare prices of hotels, flights and car rentals. Skyscanner lets users search for flights, hotels and car hires in over 20 countries. In India, the platform also lets users book buses in partnership with redBus.
Ctrip’s MakeMyTrip investment
Note that in January this year, Ctrip invested $180 million in MakeMyTrip raised in convertible bonds. Ctrip also bought MakeMyTrip’s shares from the open market and would effectively own 26.6% of MakeMyTrip’s stock. Ctrip also appointed a director to the MakeMyTrip board. In a related development, last month, MakeMyTrip merged with GoIbibo in a consolidation of the two largest online travel players in India. In February, Ibibo Group had raised $250 million from Naspers and Chinese internet company Tencent.
Meanwhile, Yatra Online Inc has applied for an IPO in the US, according to this VCCircle report.
Recent online travel related developments in India:
Last month, Goibibo launched live flight tracking for over 1,800 international and national daily flight schedules. In the same month, Cleartrip launched a ‘price lock’ feature which let its users lock a flight booking price to basically. In July, Oyo Rooms tied up with Travelport to list 6,000 Oyo properties on the latter. In the same month, Via.com tied up with Ola to let its users book Ola rides for local and outstation travel.