Regional News

Booking.com acquires HotelsCombined as Kayak expands into Asia Pacific

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Even after Booking Holding added HotelsCombined to its portfolio, the company still sees plenty of opportunity for its Kayak unit in metasearch worldwide. The current deal will help Kayak expand into the Asia Pacific region and will give HotelsCombined additional resources as well.

Buying UK-headquartered Momondo Group in 2017 for $550 million wasn’t enough for Booking Holdings as it announced Monday that it is acquiring Sydney, Australia-based HotelsCombined.

Like Momondo, HotelsCombined will become part of Booking Holdings’ Kayak unit, expanding the metasearch unit’s presence in Asia Pacific.

Kayak has 22 people working out of a Hong Kong office but they are mostly focused on flight metasearch. The HotelsCombined deal strengthens Kayak in hotels and in Asia Pacific.

The deal, which has been approved by HotelsCombined shareholders and its board of directors, is expected to close later this year, subject to regulatory approvals. Founded in 2005, HotelsCombined is privately held. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

HotelsCombined already had partnerships with Booking Holdings brands Booking.com and Agoda as part of HotelsCombined’s metasearch business. It also had partnerships, as do most metasearch companies, with plenty of Booking Holdings rivals across the travel industry.

Earlier in its history, HotelsCombined emphasized powering hotel metasearch behind the scenes for third parties, but in recent years it has put increased emphasis on going direct to consumers and building its own brand.

Kayak looked at acquiring HotelsCombined at least twice in recent years before the current deal, according to a source, but wasn’t ready to make it happen.

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