In a time when acquisitions, mergers, and partnerships have become the norm, one company in particular seems to be positioning itself as a future leader in the travel space. That company is Priceline, and their recent acquisitions highlight an attempt to improve both ends (B2B and B2C) of the sales experience.
On June 10, Priceline announced the acquisition of buuteeq, Inc., a leading digital marketing platform for hotels worldwide. Buuteeq’s cloud-based marketing software helps hoteliers manage their brand and drive bookings with responsively designed websites, robust user analytics, and intuitive content-management tools.
On June 16, Priceline announced its acquisition of reservation booking company OpenTable for $2.6 billion in cash, adding the leader in digital reservations to its portfolio. OpenTable currently has over 31,000 restaurants on board its platform, and sees and average of 15 million people book reservations on its site and mobile apps per month.
Priceline ended up paying $104 per share to acquire OpenTable, which according to the Wall Street Journal is a 46% increase over the restaurant booking company’s closing market price on June 12. Priceline’s hope is that consolidation of the businesses of flight booking and restaurant reservations creates valuable synergies.
The final Priceline acquisition, announced on June 17, was of the could-based hotel property management system HotelNinjas, which will belong to the same part of Priceline focusing on providing B2B services to hotels, run separately from the consumer-facing side of the Priceline group which includes Booking.com.
The HotelNinjas deal was secured behind the scenes as company registration documents indicate that a change in the company’s structure and ownership started taking place on May 12 of this year. It was at this time that Priceline’s head of worldwide planning and strategy and Executive Vice President of corporate development, Glenn Fogel joined the HotelNinjas board.
Priceline has now positioned itself as an interesting playing in the accommodation sector, covering both marketing and reservation hosting for properties, while also adding another major piece for restaurant reservations.