Priceline might be planning a big acquisition, possibly Yelp!
PCLN might be planning a strategic acquisition to grow its business.While there are many possibilities, YELP is an intriguing one.
Just two weeks after announcing a debt offering, Priceline Group is offering yet more Senior Notes (dollar instead of euro). While the proceeds from this debt is unknown, it is quite unusual for a company of any size to enter two public offerings this quickly, especially one with $8 billion in cash & equivalents and that has over $2.75 billion of annual free cash flow. Granted, interest rates are low, but the fact that Priceline is aggressively raising capital suggests it's up to something big, much larger than financing a $3 billion buyback program that can be paid using its cash-on-hand. That's why I think Priceline is preparing to make a rather large acquisition, possibly Yelp.
Reviews have become a cornerstone of the consumer experience; as they tell consumers what to expect when dining, shopping or traveling. That's why Priceline has worked so hard to build its "guest reviews" over the last few years.
However, the importance of reviews is not the only reason why Priceline might have interest in a leading review site like Yelp. For quite some time investors have speculated that Priceline is interested in entering new industries such as restaurant, event, and attraction bookings. This theory was further supported when Priceline bought OpenTable last year.