$1.74 billion acquisition deal: China’s biggest online travel company agrees to acquire Edinburgh-based Skyscanner

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Ctrip.com, China’s biggest online travel company, announced yesterday evening that it agreed to buy travel search website Skyscanner in a deal valuing the Scottish company at about $1.74 billion.

Ctrip is a publicly traded company and its share price went up about 9% after these acquisition plans were announced.

Skyscanner was founded in 2013 as a result of CEO and co-founder Gareth Williams’ frustration with finding cheap flights. The Edinburgh-based company enables users to compare prices from different travel sites when searching for flights, hotels, and rental cars. The website currently serves 60 million monthly active users and is available in over 30 languages. Skyscanner today counts over 700 employees across 10 offices.

The valuation of the current acquisition plans come at no surprise. Skycaner was already valued at $1.6 billion in a funding round in January, when it raised 128 million pounds from a group of investors that included Malaysia’s sovereign fund, Khazanah Nasional, and Yahoo Japan Corp.

Over the years, Skyscanner raised almost $200 million in venture capital. So it was clear that an attractive sale or an initial public offering had to be pursued at some point.

According to Ctrip, Skyscanner’s current management team will continue to manage its operations independently after the close of the deal by the end of 2016. The deal will mainly consist of cash, with the rest consisting of Ctrip ordinary shares and loan notes.

Check out the video statement of Skycanner CEO and co-founder Gareth Williams: