Ctrip.com International, a leading travel service provider in China, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Skyscanner. The travel metasearch engine, available in over 30 languages, currently has over 50m visitors per month and has an annual turnover of £120m.
The terms of the acquisition value Skyscanner at approximately £1.4bn and will see Ctrip acquire the entirety of the majority shareholders’ shares, with an offer to follow to the remaining shareholders. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2016 and Skyscanner’s current management team will continue to manage Skyscanner’s operations independently.
Co-founder and executive chairman of Ctrip James Jianzhang Liang said: “Skyscanner is one of the largest travel search platforms in the world. We are excited to welcome Skyscanner into the Ctrip group. Ctrip and Skyscanner share the same passion and dedication in providing travellers around the world with better services. This acquisition will strengthen long-term growth drivers for both companies. Skyscanner will complement our positioning at a global scale, and we will leverage our experience, technology and booking capabilities to help Skyscanner.”
Skyscanner co-founder and CEO Gareth Williams said: “Today’s news takes Skyscanner one step closer to our goal of making travel search as simple as possible for travellers around the world. Ctrip and Skyscanner share a common view – that organizing travel has a long way to go to being solved. To do so requires powerful technology and a traveller-first approach. In taking the next step to achieving our goal, Skyscanner will remain operationally independent and our growing global team will continue to innovate and deliver the products travellers know and love. It’s an exciting time for our business, our partners and the travellers who use us.”