The Priceline Group is, among other things, the owner of the Kayak meta search engine for airline tickets – one of the most popular in the US market.
Buying their competitors – Momondo, is intended to strengthen their position in Europe. Another reason for this USD 550 mil acquisition is to prevent someone else from buying the successful Momondo, a situation similar to the one that happened last November when the Chinese Ctrip took over Skyscanner.
Momondo is a popular metasearch engine based in Denmark and the UK. It has another well-known brand, Cheapflights, which will connect it to Kayak. In some European regions like the UK, Russia, and Scandinavia, Momondo ranks first among metasearch engines. Although not big on hotel offers, it will still strengthen Kayak. They are all planned to switch to the same platform. Kayak is also present in France, Spain and Germany through the Swoodoo brand. There are speculations that the previous majority owner, Great Hill Partners from Boston, who had bought a share in 2014 for USD 130 mil, will make a five-fold return on their investment.
This is the biggest acquisition by the Group since 2014 when they bought a very popular US online service for restaurant reservations – OpenTable.
If the name Priceline doesn’t ring a bell, you should know that it is the biggest global travel agency.
You are probably more familiar with the brands owned by the Priceline Group: Booking.com, Priceline.com, agoda.com, Kayak, Renatlcars.com, and OpenTable. The Group operates in practically all the countries in the world, in 40 different languages. Although based in the US, it still generates 86% of its turnover outside the US. In 2016, its revenues amounted to USD 10.64 billion, with an operating income of USD 3.26 billion.