When Booking Holdings announced last month that it intends to acquire Australia-based metasearch company HotelsCombined, the companies did not disclose deal terms, but it turns out the purchase price is $140 million in cash. That’s probably one of the cheapest deals transacted by a major online travel agency for a metasearch, or comparison shopping, service in recent years. See the chart below.
In a quarterly financial filing, Booking Holdings stated: “In July 2018, the Company signed a definitive agreement to acquire a hotel meta-search company and will pay approximately $140 million in cash in connection with this acquisition.”
When Booking announced the deal to buy HotelsCombined, some analysts wondered what the rationale might be since Kayak already has a presence in Asia Pacific, which is HotelsCombined’s home region. Kayak is flight-heavy, though, and HotelsCombined likely penetrated some markets where Kayak hasn’t broken through.
Analysts speculated last month that the deal might have occurred for $250 million to $300 million, which turns out to be an overestimate.
HotelsCombined has been around for more than a dozen years. When asked, Hafner of Kayak said, “they are not struggling or on their last legs. We paid a fair price and are looking forward to their continued success.”
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