Skyscanner, the Scottish travel search business, has been acquired by Chinese competitor Ctrip in a deal valued at £1.4bn.
The Edinburgh-based business, which was founded in 2001, will maintain operations independently of Ctrip, China's largest travel search business, which was founded in 1999.
Expected to close by the end of the year, the deal mainly consists of cash, with the remainder to be shovelled over in Ctrip ordinary shares and loan notes.
"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. This acquisition will strengthen long-term growth drivers for both companies. Skyscanner will complement our positioning at a global scale and Ctrip will leverage our experience, technology and booking capabilities to Skyscanner's."
Skyscanner's CEO and co-founder, Gareth Williams, recorded a video message to announce the agreement.
"Ctrip is the clear market leader in China and a company we can learn a huge amount from," said Williams. "Ctrip and Skyscanner share a common view – that organising 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 travellers know and love. It's an exciting time for our business, our partners and the travellers who use us." ®