June 08, 2018

Booking Holdings eyes opportunities to acquire firms for profitable growth

The M&A strategy of the world’s most valuable travel company has shifted to looking for strategic opportunities to buy in capabilities it has not built itself.

Todd Henrich, senior vice president of corporate development at Booking Holdings, the parent of Booking.com and KAYAK, cited the recent $50 million acquisition of FareHarbor as a good example.

Although Booking remains in the market for more spectacular deals, as last year’s $550 million buyout of Cheapflights parent Momondo Group showed, Henrich indicated it was more interested in “tucking opportunities” allowing specialist firms to scale globally within the larger group.

FareHarbor was a Hawaiian-based B2B platform for tours and activities which has been relocated to Amsterdam and now drives the firm’s activity in that sector for booking.com, said Henrich.

He said a decade ago as Booking was scaling it was looking for strong firms that could stand alone which he said “works to a certain point”, but you end up with a “loose affiliation of brands”.

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