Since coming public in the first half of 2009, OpenTable’s shares have risen 145% and peaked at an all-time high of more than $115 in April of 2011. Shares are down about 10% year-to-date however.
The premium Priceline is paying looks steep, but OpenTable’s most attractive feature is its relationship with more than 31,000 dining establishments around the world. The online reservation company seats 15 million diners a month, and OpenTable’s mobile platform, which the company introduced in 2008, has seated a total of 125 million diners.
What Priceline expects to be able to do is to grow OpenTable’s inventory of dining spots, especially overseas and on mobile devices. The firm has acquired travel sites like Booking.com and KAYAK and needs to look elsewhere for growth. Booking a table at a restaurant is not much different from booking a room or a flight. With OpenTable’s expertise and Priceline’s might, this looks like a very good deal for both companies.
OpenTable shares were up 47% in premarket trading Friday morning to $103.53, above the 52-week range of $59.65 to $87.48.
Priceline traded down fractionally, at $1,225.00 in a 52-week range of $791.15 to $1,378.96.
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