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China’s Ctrip to Buy Skyscanner for £1.4bn

Scotland-based Skyscanner says it will maintain its presence in the UK and no jobs will be lost. Scotland-based Skyscanner says it will maintain its presence in the UK and no jobs will be lost. Photo: Alamy

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Skyscanner was valued at $1.6bn during a fundraising round in January, placing it in the small club of British “unicorns”, or tech companies worth more than $1bn. At the time, the Silicon Valley technology investment group Sequoia took a stake. Neil Shen, Ctrip’s co-founder, founded Sequoia Capital China in 2005.

James Jianzhang Liang, co-founder and executive chairman of Ctrip, said: “Skyscanner will complement our positioning at a global scale, and we will leverage our experience, technology and booking capabilities to help Skyscanner.”

Prof Towson said: “The biggest opportunity for Ctrip is to connect two massive groups — Chinese consumers, and international airlines and hotels. What they really need next is a hotel network. That’s where the real power is, with tens of thousands of hotels across Europe and Asia as potential clients.”

The deal adds to the $191bn worth of Chinese overseas acquisitions that were announced during the first nine months of this year.

But some deals in tourism are heading in the other direction, with Airbnb in talks to buy China’s second-largest home booking service, Xiaozhu.

Skyscanner is set to expand its engineering base throughout Europe with the deal, hiring across its offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Barcelona, as well as in London, where it plans to double its engineering team to 120 over the next 18 months.

“Our investment in Europe will grow unabated, it remains the core of our operation,” Mr. Williams said.

“There will be modest growth in our Shenzhen and Beijing offices, but no shift of jobs into China.”

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

ambient marketing pvt ltd bangalore By Courtesy of FT

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