Priceline's acquisition of metasearch player, Momondo, is the latest move in the European game of chess that is online travel.
Priceline started the game in 2004 and 2005 with the hugely successful acquisitions of Active Hotels and Booking.com. More recently we have seen China's Ctrip acquire flight metasearch leader Skyscanner in a $1.7bn deal. Meanwhile, Expedia's Trivago hotel metasearch site executed a successful IPO in December.
Momondo brings Priceline a strong footprint in the UK, Nordics and Russia. It is a great success for the Momondo team led by Hugo Burge and a strong return for Boston based Great Hill who financed the business in 2014. The deal was priced at 5x trailing net revenues.
With consolidation and other metasearch rivals getting stronger, the Priceline Group signed a deal to acquire UK and Denmark-based metasearch site Momondo Group for $550 million in cash. Skift reported exclusively last month that Priceline’s Kayak unit was shopping for a metasearch rival in Europe and that talks were under way between Kayak and Momondo. The discussions started in the Fall. The Priceline Group officially made the acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approvals, but the Momondo Group, with its Momondo and Cheapflights metasearch brands, will be rolled into Kayak. The enlarged Kayak will likely determine country by country which would be the leading brands among the three in specific geographies.