Extending its reach into restaurant reservations, online travel giant Priceline Group CEO Darren Huston is buying OpenTable for $2.6 billion.
Priceline will pay $103 per share in cash, which is a 46% premium over OpenTable’s Thursday closing price of $70.43.
OpenTable’s stock soared 48% to $104.48 Friday. Shares of Priceline were down 3% to $1,189.
OpenTable charges restaurants monthly fees to seat diners who book their reservations online. It has an inventory of more than 31,000 restaurants, and seats more than 15 million diners a month.
“Travelers are diners,” Priceline CEO and President Darren Huston said in a conference call with analysts and reporters. It’s the same customers. There’s opportunity to cross-promote brands.
“We spent a long time looking at OpenTable. It’s been on our radar for a long time. We felt now was a good time,” Darren Huston said.
Darren Huston said Priceline’s first goal is to expand OpenTable internationally. Users can already book restaurants through OpenTable in London, Berlin, Hong Kong and other cities, but Darren Huston said he wanted to bring it to more cities. Since Priceline already has “offices in every major city in the world,” doing so should be seamless, Huston said. Continue reading “Darren Huston Priceline CEO to buy OpenTable for $2.6B”