The Priceline Negotiator picks up another sale. But this time, it’s not connecting customers to travel prices online, but rather Priceline Group Inc. itself to a valuable property in the restaurant bookings business: OpenTable Inc.
Priceline announced on June 13 that it would purchase OpenTable for $2.6 billion, adding the online property to an expanding stable of domains that includes Kayak and Booking.com. The offer of $103 per share values OpenTable at 46 percent higher than the company’s closing share on June 12.
According to Bloomberg, the acquisition should help U.S.-based OpenTable globally, where Priceline holds a larger footprint. Praveen Menon, an analyst at Bloomberg Industries, says that 81 percent of OpenTable’s business comes from inside the United States.
The deal is “a good way to get demand in new markets, just a natural bigger-pocketed partner to scale the business internationally,” Menon told Bloomberg News. “They’ve been largely a U.S. restaurants-type business. This is where Priceline comes in.”
Bloomberg also noted that this is another payday for venture capital firm Benchmark Capital. Benchmark owned 24 percent of OpenTable at its initial IPO, and still owns 7.4 percent of outstanding stock at the time of the sale announcement. Benchmark has previously invested in Uber Technologies Inc., Zillow Inc., Zipcar Inc., EBay Inc. and Yelp Inc., and it still owns 5.4 percent of Twitter, Inc.
Priceline CEO Darren Huston said in a statement that OpenTable, which works with 31,000 different restaurants, is a property that he had been eyeing for a while. “For us it’s a really natural extension,” he said. “A lot of what we do day to day is very similar.”
OpenTable CEO Matt Roberts said in a statement that he was excited to be able to complete the deal with Priceline. “We couldn’t be more excited to join a group of brands leading in their space, and we look forward to the next chapter of our own journey as we continue to enhance the dining experience for our customers worldwide,” Roberts said.