Travel comparison site Skyscanner to be acquired by Ctrip for £1.4bn

Edinburgh-based unicorn will continue to operate independently under the direction of its current management team

Skyscanner, the Edinburgh-based travel search website, is set to be acquired by Chinese travel company Ctrip in a deal reported to be worth £1.4bn.

Founded in 2001 by Gareth Williams, Barry Smith and Bonamy Grimes, Skyscanner enables users to compare prices from hundreds of different travel sites and book everything from flights to hotels and car hire.

The company joined the UK unicorn club in 2014, achieving a billion dollar valuation after receiving investment from Scottish Equity Partners and US investor Sequoia.

Today it claims to generate 60 million monthly active users and is available in more than 30 languages.

Skyscanner will continue to be headquartered in Edinburgh and operate independently under its current management team. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

Williams commented: “In taking the next step to achieving our goal, Skyscanner will remain operationally independent and our growing global team will continue to innovate and deliver the products travelers know and love. It’s an exciting time for our business, our partners and the travelers who use us.”

James Jianzhang Liang, co-founder and executive chairman of Ctrip, said: “Ctrip and Skyscanner share the same passion and dedication in providing travelers around the world with better services. This acquisition will strengthen long-term growth drivers for both companies.”

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