back to article Scotland's Skyscanner sold to Chinese rival Ctrip in £1.4bn deal

Skyscanner, the Scottish travel search business, has been acquired by Chinese competitor Ctrip in a deal valued at £1.4bn. The Edinburgh-based business, which was founded in 2001, will maintain operations independently of Ctrip, China's largest travel search business, which was founded in 1999. Expected to close by the end of …

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Unhappy

"maintain operations independently of Ctrip"

An acquisition not to improve either companies products then: so what gain to whom?

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Re: "maintain operations independently of Ctrip"

"so what gain to whom?"

Er, 1.4 billion dollars to Skyscanners owners?

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Megaphone

Re: "maintain operations independently of Ctrip"

Skyscanners owners' interest is obvious indeed.

<Rant>

But what benefit to Ctip, if indeed operations are kept separate? Either the "separate" bit is just fluff or the acquisition should have been by investors (who may or may not be very similar to those that own Ctip).If they have more cash than they can usefully reinvest, then pay dividends and let their shareholders decide where the cash should be reinvested (if at all).

When companies buy other companies without the intent of integrating them, (typically because they want to broaden their base for greater stability or to reduce market competition), they stifle market-led evaluation of their core product and so stop the ability of markets to move capital from bad companies to good ones. Thus grow overly-large monolithic shoddy companies with market-distorting power that provide little-to-no market/social/customer benefit.

</Rant>

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Re: "maintain operations independently of Ctrip"

"Thus grow overly-large monolithic shoddy companies with market-distorting power that provide little-to-no market/social/customer benefit."

Wow - that's a mouthful when "bank" would do!

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Re: "maintain operations independently of Ctrip"

If you have two different companies that service two completely different markets and both are profitable, why would you bring them together?

The only reason would be if you think you can leverage economies of scale. but considering regulations in europe on data protection, I'm sure Ctrip decided not to open that can of worms by bringing the skyscanner servers to China. So now Ctrip collect the profits from Skyscanner, so they make Money back on the purchase and they have a profitable subsidiary making money in a market they arent in or trying to get into.

Seems a very reasonable basis to do the deal for me.

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GODly Operational Maintenance with AIReinvention and Revolutionary Global Operating Devices*

"Thus grow overly-large monolithic shoddy companies with market-distorting power that provide little-to-no market/social/customer benefit."

Wow - that's a mouthful when "bank" would do! ..... defiler

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"Skyscanner's CEO and co-founder, Gareth Williams, recorded a video message to announce the agreement."

This is what he recorded to the world.

What I expect he said to his close friends was 'Fsck me! I am going to be sooooooo rich!'

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"a company we can learn a huge amount from,"

Translation: A company that waved a lot of money under my nose. Now where's that yacht brochure?

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Cold War Red Hot APT ACTivIT

That's the way to do it ...... sell off proprietary intellectual property and time and space sensitive know-how to inspirational cash rich aspirants with more sense than to just wonder about how everything works better than just normal and as per usual.

:-) I wonder if Hammond's /the UK's newly reannounced £2billion per annum investment will be able to compete and win win against the Exotic Erotic Eastern Mind Mining Set?

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Meh

Politicians, eh?

Yesterday Hammond in the Autumn statement said there was a "longstanding problem of our fastest growing technology firms being snapped up by bigger companies, rather than growing to scale".

However five months ago he said "Britain is open for business" as he did when the ARM takeover was announced.

What's it going to be today? Who can tell.

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Re: Politicians, eh?

Yes, the ARM sale should have been examine by the government first IMO given it was one of the UKs star tech companies, if not THE one. But the real blame lies in the greedy directors and/or shareholders who need to take a good long hard look at themselves in the mirror. There is absolutely no reason to agree to sell a growing healthy company in profit other than to make a fat wedge for yourself. None.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Politicians, eh?

"But the real blame lies in the greedy directors and/or shareholders"

Stop your moaning.

It's not just the higher-ups who are smiling about the ARM deal.

Don't know the details of this latest one, but hopefully the grunts will get a slice too.

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Re: Politicians, eh?

"Don't know the details of this latest one, but hopefully the grunts will get a slice too."

Dream on. And even if they did, I doubt somehow a few hundred quid really makes up for the uncertainty that now hangs around jobs at ARM in the UK. If you don't think that Softbank may start to move all the R&D over to Japan at some point if its cheaper for them then you're VERY naive.

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Re: Politicians, eh? / Britain's open for business

Who do I talk to if I'm interested in one of the Royals?

Anyway, I suppose this is another good deal for Britain.

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Re: Politicians, eh?

There is absolutely no reason to agree to sell a growing healthy company in profit other than to make a fat wedge for yourself. None.

Owners of a company can do whatever hey want with it. Its their company to do as they please. They can shut it down or sell it if they wish.

Given that (at least so far) the company will continue to trade independently there is nothing really to whinge about. I'm guessing the buyer will be satisfied with collecting the profits. At least for now.

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Re: Politicians, eh?

ARM and its jobs are indeed safe in the UK. Until a PHB in Softbank decides otherwise.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Politicians, eh?

"Softbank may start to move all the R&D over to Japan at some point if its cheaper for them then you're VERY naive"

And you seem very ignorant about these subjects.

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Re: Politicians, eh?

'Don't know the details of this latest one, but hopefully the grunts will get a slice too.'

I had an interview at skyscanner in 2007 (when they were in a small townhouse in Leith). they seemed an interesting place to work and they spoke about employees sharing in a potential flotation the following year (though that evidently didn't happen). no idea whats happened to them as they have got bigger but hopefully the core staff have got something out of it.

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Re: Politicians, eh?

A slither maybe.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Politicians, eh?

""Don't know the details of this latest one, but hopefully the grunts will get a slice too.""

It happens. I was a grunt at an American company bought out by a competitor.

Most of us had bought stock - some of us a large amount of stock - as part of our retirement plans.

Any amount we contributed to that plan was matched by our employers, so we essentially doubled our money there right there.

During the buyout, that stock was bought at over 50% above it's previous market value, so many of us did see a good deal of money. By a good deal, I mean thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. I was in the latter group, along with a good many other "grunts". Don't know if this scenario would play out in another country.

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"There is absolutely no reason to agree to sell a growing healthy company in profit other than to make a fat wedge for yourself."

No shit Sherlock - Money is the reason anyone agrees to sell anything. Either because you need the money not the thing or you think you are being offered more than the thing is worth.

It would have been OK with you to sell ARM if it was failing and loosing money?

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"No shit Sherlock - Money is the reason anyone agrees to sell anything"

Actually Watson, there are other reasons to sell a company other than to make money for yourself. Perhaps go get a clue before posting.

"It would have been OK with you to sell ARM if it was failing and loosing money?"

Yes, because being bought out and saving the jobs is preferable to it going bust and everyone being thrown on the dole. Now hurry along, your next lesson is starting sonny.

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Anonymous Coward

> Perhaps go get a clue before posting.

Ahem ...

> Yes, because being bought out and saving the jobs is preferable to it going bust and everyone being thrown on the dole

How many unprofitable companies do you own, exactly? I trust you are the first to go to the bank and remortgage your house when someone else's job is in danger, right?

> Now hurry along, your next lesson is starting sonny.

Now mate, being as thick as you are it is OK to ask questions. It's even OK to make idiotic pronouncements, so you can learn from them. But you really are not in a position to play the patronising card with anyone.

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"How many unprofitable companies do you own, exactly? I trust you are the first to go to the bank and remortgage your house when someone else's job is in danger, right?"

I take back what I said about you getting a clue, I think you need to sober up first.

Plenty of company owners invest their own money or bank loans secured on a stake in the company or property (essentially re-mortgaging it) into their company to keep it afloat during rough times. Perhaps if you knew anything about the business world and weren't obviously some clueless arrogant student you might know this.

And FYI I've run 2 small companies in my time.

"Now mate, being as thick as you are it is OK to ask questions. It's even OK to make idiotic pronouncements, so you can learn from them. But you really are not in a position to play the patronising card with anyone."

Yeah, but you're not just anyone "mate", you're a contender for this weeks muppet award.

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Anonymous Coward

>And FYI I've run 2 small companies in my time.

Was one of them Trotters Independent Traders ?

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"Was one of them Trotters Independent Traders ?"

**GUFFAW**

You should do stand-up.

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Skyscanner is one of the largest travel search platforms in the world

It is?

I'd never heard of it...

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Anonymous Coward

> It is?

Yes.

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Have you heard of a search engine called "Google" ?

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Anonymous Coward

I'm currently sat…

…in the very building SkyScanner started out in. I'm sure we'll sell for just as much one day. Sure, we've already been around even longer than they have but let me dream, okay?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm currently sat…

> I'm sure we'll sell for just as much one day. Sure, we've already been around even longer than they have but let me dream, okay?

Just to wish you good luck. I sincerely hope you do get there one day! :-)

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Re: I'm currently sat…

mintleaf?

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Re: I'm currently sat…

Haha, took me a second to figure out what you meant. That's where I'd *like* to be currently sat but I'm two floors up.

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Re: I'm currently sat…

Just remember to buy your lottery ticket - I mean stock in the company.

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Dev events, Free beer and Pizza

Been to a fair few events at Sky Scanner offices in Glasgow and is a tech hub of excellence where they sponsor events such as a very good docker series. Lets hope they firmly remain in the UK.

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"The Edinburgh-based business"

The business based in the city formerly known as Edinburgh. Next week we are being renamed Garethwilliamsburgh.

And you mocked Scotland for having the unicorn as our national animal, but Skyscanner and Fanduel were real!

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Having used both companies

I cannot see how they do not fit together, SkyScanner do a decent enough job on worldwide flights, but like all non Chinese companies, have limited information on internal flights.

(They may show one, or even no internal flights when there are actually dozens).

Ctrip is WONDERFUL for internal Chinese flights, but once you cross the border they lose the plot.

Bolt the two together, and in theory you should be able to book through from any obscure Chinese city with an airport to anywhere in the world, and vice versa.

As long as the prices are good, I for one, will welcome this; until now it has been a PITA researching external flights with one company and trying to match them up with internal flights from the other.

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Skyscanner - take-off and rocky ride?

I was introduced to Skyscanner by a work colleague in the early 2000's - so presumably soon after it was launched. Pretty unimpressed at the time.

Then in early 2014 I needed to book a (business) flight to Barcelona - I tried Skyscanner after a couple of work colleagues said that was how they have been arranging flights. Wow.. impressed.. took me though to a ticket agency and I got some decent flights.

However since then, whenever I've tried using Skyscanner I have been disappointed. Is it just my impression or has Skyscanner passed it's peak? And if so.. £1.4bn is a nice little stash for the owners.

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