Priceline (PCLN) Agrees to Buy OpenTable Inc (OPEN) for $2.6B

Online travel giant Priceline Group (PCLN) agreed on Friday to acquire Internet restaurant reservation company OpenTable Inc. (OPEN) for $2.6 billion in cash.

Priceline will pay $103 per share for the owner of OpenTable.com, which represents a 46% premium over OpenTable’s Thursday closing pps of $70.43.

OPEN spiked more than 48% to $104.48 Friday.

“OpenTable is a great match for The Priceline Group,” said Darren Huston, Priceline’s CEO and President. “They provide us with a natural extension into restaurant marketing services and a wonderful and highly-valued booking experience for our global customers.”

The San Francisco-based OpenTable, which allows diners to make restaurant reservations on line and through its mobile app, has an inventory of more than 31,000 restaurants, and seats more than 15 million diners a month. OpenTable has seated more than 125 million diners worldwide through its mobile solutions, which were introduced in 2008.

“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,” Huston said [via USATODAY], adding he believes there’s room for growth. “We look forward to helping the OpenTable team accelerate their global expansion”, he said.

The Boards of both companies have unanimously approved the deal, which is set to close in the 3rd quarter of fiscal 2014.

Shares in the $62 billion travel company fell $36.70, or 2.99%. on Friday to close at $1,189.

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