Market Overview

Priceline.com to Acquire Kayak for $40 Per Share

After the market close on Thursday, Kayak Software (NASDAQ: KYAK) on online travel technology company, announced that it has agreed to be acquired by industry heavyweight Priceline.com (NASDAQ: PCLN) for $40 per share in cash and stock. Kayak closed the trading session at $31.04, so the deal represents a premium of nearly 29 percent.

Kayak only came public via IPO on July 24, 2012 so this deal represents a major (and quick) payday for the company's public shareholders. The IPO price was $26.00, so KYAK investors have reaped a return of around 54 percent in just a matter of months.

"Paul English and I started KAYAK eight years ago to create the best place to plan and book travel," said Steve Hafner, KAYAK Chief Executive Officer and Cofounder. "We're excited to join the world's premier online travel company. The Priceline Group's global reach and expertise will accelerate our growth and help us further develop as a company."

"KAYAK has built a strong brand in online travel research and their track record of profitable growth is demonstrative of their popularity with consumers and value to advertisers," said Priceline Group President and Chief Executive Officer Jeffery H. Boyd. "KAYAK also has world class technology and a tradition of innovation in building great user interfaces across multiple platforms and devices. We believe we can be helpful with KAYAK's plans to build a global online travel brand."

Kayak also released its third-quarter earnings results on Thursday. The company reported earnings per share of $0.26 on revenues of $78.6 million. This easily exceeded Wall Street analysts consensus earnings and revenue estimates of $0.19 and $77.36 million. At last check, KYAK was halted, but when the stock re-opens it will likely be trading in the vicinity of the $40.00 deal price.

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