Priceline to buy OpenTable for $2.6B

By Michelle Kapusta,

The online travel service Priceline Group is buying the online restaurant reservation service OpenTable for $2.6 billion.

According to The New York Times, under the terms of the deal announced on Friday, Priceline will pay $103 a share through a tender offer for OpenTable’s shares. The offer represents a 46 percent premium to Thursday’s closing price of $70.43.

USA Today noted that OpenTable's stock shot higher than the offer price in early trading on Friday, while Priceline shares were down less than one percent.

Priceline CEO Darren Huston believes that the discount travel giant is a great match with OpenTable.

"Travelers are diners,” Huston said. “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.”

The companies said that the reservation-booking service will operate as an independent business led by its current management team within The Priceline Group.

image cf William Shatner, Priceline commercial star, courtesy of ACE/INFphoto.com

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