Norwalk, Conn.-based global online travel service Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN) said it agreed to acquire European travel meta engine Momondo Group and its Cheapflights platform from Boston-based private equity firm Great Hill Partners, for $550 million in cash. Momomdo, founded in Denmark in 2006 and headquartered in Copenhagen, offers flights, hotels and car rentals.
In October 2014, Great Hill Partners acquired a majority stake in Momondo through an £80 million cash investment, at a £132 million company valuation. Previously, in April 2011, Momondo and Skygate, its parent company at the time, were acquired by the British/American travel search company Cheapflights Media Ltd, becoming Momondo Group Ltd.
Since its inception in 1998, Great Hill Partners has raised $5.3 billion in capital to finance the acquisition, recapitalization, or expansion of rapidly growing middle market companies in a wide range of sectors within the business and consumer services, healthcare, media, communications and software industries.
“Metasearch is appealing to consumers and we’re keen to expand our global footprint,” said Priceline CEO Glenn Fogel. “Momondo and Cheapflights will be nice additions to our meta portfolio under Kayak.”
“Momondo and Cheapflights have built great products serving loyal users across Europe,” said Steve Hafner, CEO, Kayak. “We’re looking forward to learning from them and sharing best practices as our brands expand globally.”
“The Priceline Group has a proven track record of operating successful, customer-centric travel brands all over the world,” said Hugo Burge, CEO of Momondo Group. “We couldn’t be more excited to join such an esteemed group of loved brands and join forces with Kayak to bring the best in meta search to our growing customer bases worldwide.”
The deal is expected to close later in the year, subject to regulatory approval. At closing, Momondo will roll under Priceline’s travel brand Kayak. Headquartered in the UK and Copenhagen, with offices in Boston, the Momondo Group will report into Kayak CEO Steve Hafner after the acquisition.
The Priceline Group is a leading global online travel service available in over 225 countries through six primary brands, Booking.com, priceline.com, Kayak, agoda.com, Rentalcars.com, and OpenTable.