Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Chinese company Ctrip.com buying Skyscanner travel comparison site for £1.4bn

By Holly Williams

Published 25/11/2016

Optimistic: Skyscanner’s Gareth Williams called the deal ‘exciting’
Optimistic: Skyscanner’s Gareth Williams called the deal ‘exciting’

Travel site Skyscanner is being bought by Chinese giant Ctrip.com in a deal worth £1.4bn.

The purchase will mark the latest swoop by a Chinese company for a British firm.

Ctrip.com, which is China's biggest online travel service, said the management of the comparison site would remain in place and run the company independently of its new owner.

Edinburgh-based Skyscanner is available in more than 30 languages and has around 60 million monthly active users.

It was launched in 2003 and lets users compare prices from different sites when searching for flights, hotels and rental cars.

Skyscanner chief executive and co-founder Gareth Williams said the deal took his company "one step closer to our goal of making travel search as simple as possible for travellers around the world".

The business employs more than 800 staff, with 10 offices worldwide, including in Barcelona, Beijing, Budapest, Glasgow and London.

Mr Williams said: "This is an important, exciting step in our journey of accelerated global growth. Skyscanner will remain independent and continue to deliver the products that travellers know and love."

Ctrip explained that the takeover would boost its global reach, adding Skyscanner's strength across Europe and a growing presence in the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region.

James Jianzhang Liang, executive chairman at Ctrip, said: "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."

Ctrip expects to complete the takeover by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, China General Nuclear Power has been tipped to buy a majority stake in wind assets owned by the Irish energy company Gaelectric, including two wind farms in Northern Ireland.

Belfast Telegraph

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