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China's Ctrip acquires Skyscanner for 1.4 bln pounds

CHINA'S top online travel service provider International will acquire flight comparison site Skyscanner for 1.4 billion British pounds (about US$1.74 billion) and become its majority share-holder, sources with the companies said Thursday.

Nasdaq-listed Ctrip said the purchase, to be concluded by the end of this year, will be mainly in cash with the balance in shares and loan notes.

A Ctrip statement quoted chairman James Jianzhang Liang as saying that the acquisition will strengthen both companies: Ctrip will consolidate its global position and Skyscanner will get a boost in experience, technology and booking capability.

Skyscanner CEO Gareth Williams said in another statement that the company will remain operationally independent.

Founded in 1999, Ctrip is China's top online travel service provider. In 2015, Ctrip bought its rival Qunar and became the top online travel agency in China.

Ctrip made net revenue of 5.6 billion yuan (US$820 million) in the third quarter of 2016, up 75 percent from a year earlier, according to the company's latest financial report.


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