Leaning into a growth area, flights, Booking Holdings announced it plans to acquire one of its flights partners, Etraveli Group, for around $1.83 billion (euro 1.63 billion).
ETraveli powers Booking.com’s nascent flights’ business, which is launched over the last two years. Accommodations-oriented since its founding, Booking.com, which is the parent company’s flagship brand, now has a flights’ offering in more than two dozen countries.
Booking Holdings said it reached the acquisition deal with funds managed by CVC Capital Partners. The acquisition is subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions.
The acquisition marks Booking’s second in the past two weeks. Booking announced November 12 it planned to buy hotel wholesaler and distributor Getaroom for $1.2 billion.
Booking Holdings’ U.S.-based Priceline unit offered flights from day one of its founding in 1997, but the parent company’s flagship Booking.com, which traces its origins to 1996, eschewed flights until a couple of years ago. It partnered with Etraveli to get Booking.com’s flights business off the ground.
Today, Booking sees flights as a key growth driver. In the third quarter, which ended September 30, the company saw its flight bookings jump 131 percent compared with the same period in pre-pandemic 2019. Priceline and the new Booking.com airline ticket offering conributed to the spurt.
Booking announced that after the acquisition closes, ETraveli will continue to operate independently, as do many Booking Holdings brands, including Booking.com, Kayak, Priceline and Agoda, and ETraveli will remain headquartered in Sweden. It has nearly 1,000 employees.
Booking.com is headquartered in Amsterdam.
ETraveli is a technology provider, connecting partners such as Google Flights with airline inventory. It also operates consumer websites, including Gotogate, Mytrip, and Flightnetwork.
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