China's Ctrip.com to buy Scottish travel search website Skyscanner for $1.74 bn

Ctrip.com International Ltd, China's biggest online travel company, yesterday struck a deal to buy Scottish travel search website Skyscanner Holdings Ltd for €1.4 billion ($1.74 billion).

The purchase consideration consists mainly of cash, the remainder consisting of Ctrip ordinary shares and loan notes.

The boards of both companies have approved the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of 2016.

Skyscanner's current management team will continue to manage Skyscanner's operations independently as part of the Ctrip group.

Skyscanner is a leading travel metasearch company that enables users to compare prices from hundreds of travel sites when searching for flights, hotels, and rental cars.

It ranks as one of the top online travel brands based on search interest, serving 60 million monthly active users and available in over 30 languages.

"Skyscanner is one of the largest travel search platforms in the world," said James Jianzhang Liang, co-founder and executive chairman of Ctrip.

"We are excited to welcome Skyscanner into the Ctrip group. Ctrip and Skyscanner share the same passion and dedication in providing travelers 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," he added.

"Ctrip is the clear market leader in China and a company we can learn a huge amount from," said Gareth Williams, co-founder and CEO of Edinburgh-based Skyscanner.

Ctrip.com is China's largest travel service provider of accommodation reservation, transportation ticketing, packaged tours and corporate travel management.

It is the largest online consolidator of accommodations and transportation tickets in China in terms of transaction volume.