Skyscanner has been acquired for £1.4 billion by Chinese online travel company Ctrip.

The Edinburgh-based flight meta search company will continue to operate independently. The deal was mostly in cash and is expected to close before the end of the year.

Skyscanner, founded in 2003, compares flights and airlines for travellers and has been popular in Europe for some time and is now focusing on growth in Asia and North America.

“Ctrip is the clear market leader in China and a company we can learn a huge amount from,” said Gareth Williams, CEO.

“Ctrip and Skyscanner share a common view – that organizing travel has a long way to go to being solved. To do so requires powerful technology and a traveler-first approach. In taking the next step to achieving our goal, Skyscanner will remain operationally independent and our growing global team will continue to innovate and deliver the products travelers know and love.”

James Jianzhang Liang, executive chairman of Ctrip added: “This acquisition will strengthen long-term growth drivers for both companies. Skyscanner will complement our positioning at a global scale, and we will leverage our experience, technology and booking capabilities to help Skyscanner.”

Skyscanner had previously raised nearly $200 million in funding.

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