The Priceline Group pulled the trigger, after going shopping in Europe on behalf of its Kayak metasearch unit, and acquired the UK and Denmark-based Momondo Group for USD 550 million in cash. There are things the deal does, doesn’t do, and things to watch out for as an integration of the two companies begins after the deal closes later this year.
The follow-up Security and Exchange Commission paper trail hasn’t been filed yet as of this writing, a couple of days after the deal announcement, but we now know that the talks kicked off in the Fall with Kayak taking the lead.
Skift exclusively reported in January that Kayak-Momondo deal talks were under way and at the time Kayak CEO Steve Hafner tried to do his best head-fake in leading us away from the story. He downplayed any possible engagement with Momondo, telling us that Kayak talks to everyone.
Apart from our sourcing, though, we were confident we were onto something when Hafner seemed to be pressuring Momondo in a not-so-veiled way in light of our reporting to mute its demands, saying in January, “We don’t have a deal to buy anyone but we’re all ears to anyone who wants to sell at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, Ctrip/Skyscanner and Trivago seem to have inflated expectations. Obviously, I can’t speak for any of the potential sellers you mention. Maybe someone else is on the hunt?”
Well, the hunt ended with Kayak snagging the Momondo Group, with its Momondo and Cheapflights brands.
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