Scottish ‘unicorn’ Skyscanner is to be bought by China’s biggest online travel company Ctrip.com International Ltd for about £1.4 billion.
The deal follows quickly on the heels of the announcement that Scotland’s other ‘unicorn’ Fanduel is to merge with American rival DraftKings.
The Skyscanner purchase consists of mainly cash, with the remainder consisting of Ctrip ordinary shares and loan notes.
Skyscanner is an online travel 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.
“Ctrip is the clear market leader in China and a company we can learn a huge amount from,” said Gareth Williams, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Skyscanner. “Today’s news takes Skyscanner one step closer to our goal of making travel search as simple as possible for travelers 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 traveler-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 travelers know and love. It’s an exciting time for our business, our partners and the travelers who use us.”
“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.”
International law firm Pinsent Masons has advised on the sale of Skyscanner.