The Priceline Group (Nasdaq: PCLN) has agreed to purchase European travel company Momondo Group in a transaction valued at $550 million in cash. The deal includes Cheapflights, the target’s flight comparison and travel deal website.
The Momondo Group, in addition to Cheapflights, operates a European travel meta engine called momondo. The target’s travel brands use a meta-search engine to offer best available prices for flights, hotels, and car rentals. Momondo Group, headquartered in the UK and Copenhagen, is currently a portfolio company of Great Hill Partners and will join with the buyer’s Kayak brand following the transaction close. The target has additional offices in Boston.
"Meta-search is appealing to consumers and we're keen to expand our global footprint," states Priceline CEO Glenn Fogel.
Priceline is an online travel services companies to consumers and partners in more than 225 countries. The travel group operates using six primary brands, including: Bookin.com, priceline.com, Kayak, agoda.com, Rentalcars.com and OpenTable. The buyer brands itself as a travel company helping people experience the world. Priceline reported $55.5 billion in gross bookings in 2015.
The middle market has seen a fair share of travel M&A. Recent deals include: vacation rental company Expedia Inc.’s (Nasdaq: EXPE) completed purchase of HomeAway Inc. (Nasdaq: AWAY); private equity firms KKR & Co. (NYSE: KKR) and KSL Capital Partners LLC’s collaborative deal to purchase vacation hospitality company Apple Leisure Group; Wasserstein Partners and others' acquisition of Northstar Travel Group, a software and information database provider for the travel and meeting industry; TA Associates' investment in Plusgrade, a revenue service for the travel industry; and Sabre Corp.'s (Nasdaq: SABR) completed acquisition of Abacus International for $411 million.