Priceline Makes Surprise Swoop for Kayak

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Priceline.com ( PCLN) Thursday announced a surprise deal to acquire newly-public travel Web site Kayak ( KYAK) for $40 a share in cash and stock.

The deal values Kayak at roughly $1.8 billion.

"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 CEO Jeffery Boyd, in a statement released after market close. "We believe we can be helpful with Kayak's plans to build a global online travel brand."

Norwalk, Conn.-based Kayak went public in July after earning a reputation as a valuable resource for travelers.

"We're excited to join the world's premier online travel company," explained Steve Hafner, the Kayak CEO, in the statement. "The Priceline Group's global reach and expertise will accelerate our growth and help us further develop as a company."

Both companies' boards have approved the transaction, which is subject to approval by Kayak's shareholders and regulators.

Kayak also reported its fiscal third-quarter results after market close on Thursday, posting revenue of $78.6 million, above analysts' forecast of $77.36 million. Excluding items, Kayak earned 26 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for earnings of 19 cents a share.

The online travel specialist also cancelled its earnings conference call.

Priceline shares are down 1.41% to $619 in extended trading.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

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