China’s biggest online travel service Ctrip.com is buying Skyscanner i n a deal that values the British travel search site at 1.4 billion pounds ($1.7 billion).
The deal announced Thursday adds to a string of global acquisitions by Chinese companies in search of technology, brands and access to foreign markets.
Ctrip.com International Ltd. said the management of Skyscanner Holdings Ltd., which allows users to compare prices of air tickets, hotels and rental cars on hundreds of travel sites, will remain in place and operate the company independently.
Ctrip dominates the Chinese online travel market, while Edinburgh-based Skyscanner is a leader in Europe and has a growing presence in the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region.
“This acquisition will strengthen long-term growth drivers for both companies,” Ctrip executive chairman James Jianzhang Liang said in a statement. “Skyscanner will complement our positioning at a global scale, and we will leverage our experience, technology and booking capabilities to help Skyscanner.”
Chinese companies, flush with cash from their country’s economic boom, have bought foreign brands including Volvo Cars, Club Med and General Electric Co.’s home appliances unit as growth in their home market slows and they try to improve their competitive edge.