Chinese leading Internet tourism services provider Ctrip.com is reportedly considering buying Etraveli AB, an online tourism business of the German media giant ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE.
Apart from Ctrip, companies like Blackstone Group are reportedly also considering providing a proposal to Etraveli. Headquartered in Uppsala, Sweden, Etraveli's highest bidding may reach EUR500 million, which is about USD543 million.
Thomas Ebeling, chief executive officer of ProSiebenSat.1, said during a conference call that the company was evaluating its online tourism business which has attracted extensive interest of financial and strategic investors. Ebeling said the evaluation was ongoing and expected to be completed in the following months.
Etraveli operates businesses in 46 countries around the world and it provides air ticket and hotel booking services with brands like Gotogate, Supersaver, and Travelstart. In 2015, ProSiebenSat.1 agreed to acquire Etraveli and the deal valued the latter at about EUR235 million.
At present, Ctrip's market value is about USD28.8 billion. Prior to this, Ctrip agreed to invest in India's online travel company MakeMyTrip. The Chinese company also acquired UK online travel search firm Skyscanner for approximately GBP1.4 billion in 2016. By the end of March 2017, Ctrip had about USD5 billion cash and cash equivalents.