Priceline to Buy OpenTable : Darren Huston

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Travel website owner Priceline will buy restaurant reservation website operator OpenTable for $2.6 billion, aiming to broaden its offerings in an increasingly competitive online travel industry.

Priceline's offer of $103 per share for the owner of represents a premium of 46 percent to OpenTable's Thursday close.

OpenTable's shares inched past the offer price to trade at $104.19 on the Nasdaq, suggesting that some investors expect a higher bid. Priceline's shares were down 1.6 percent at $1,205.50.

With online travel companies having little room to expand, many are looking outside the industry to boost revenue.

Travel review website TripAdvisor bought online restaurant booking platform Lafourchette last month to enter the restaurant-booking industry.

As of Thursday, OpenTable's shares were trading at about 33.5 times 12-month estimated forward earnings, far below the 498.7 times of competitor Yelp, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.....

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