SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) – Priceline is buying online restaurant reservation company OpenTable for $2.6 billion. The deal should help Priceline, the online travel company, branch out into a new business segment.
“Travelers are diners,” said Priceline CEO and President Darren Huston, in a conference call. “It’s the same customers. There’s opportunity to cross promote brands.”
Priceline will pay $103 per share, which is a 46 percent premium to OpenTable Inc.’s Thursday closing price of $70.43.
Shares of OpenTable soared $33.59, or 47.7 percent, to $104.02 — above the offered price — in morning trading Friday.
OpenTable seats more than 15 million diners per month at more than 31,000 restaurants. OpenTable allows users to make free reservations at restaurants through its website and mobile apps. It makes money by charging restaurants fees for the bookings. Users can also read reviews of the restaurants and view menus through the website.