Ctrip buyout ‘won’t change our culture’, insists Skyscanner’s Gareth Williams

Ctrip buyout ‘won’t change our culture’, insists Skyscanner’s Gareth Williams

The £1.4 billion buy-out of Skyscanner by Chinese travel giant Ctrip was described as a milestone that will enable to Scottish form to continue building software.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme today, chief executive Gareth Williams said the culture of the successful British metasearch site will not change.

And he said Chinese ownership was not an but for the UK the question was how it can support another 100 Skyscanners.

“We took a majority investment that will support us to do what we do today over a number of years in the future and that’s building software.

“Events like yesterday are really milestones along the road, they are not the road itself. If you look at it from a national perspective the focus is how can we as a country support there being 100 Skyscanners. The rest will take care of itself.

“The biggest thing is encouraging the sense of giving it a go and aiming to build something of enduring value.”

Williams added: “The culture [of Skyscanner] won’t change one bit. The make-up of the shareholders has been substantially change but the culture of our company and what our goal is won’t change one single bit.

“Does it matter we are not UK owned? Ownership in any case was dispersed. We had an American venture capitalist investor and we had funds invested that have pensions all round the world. What’s the more important thing is where is the heart of the company.”

In 2013 Skyscanner partnered with Sequoia Capital in a secondary investment that valued the firm at $800 million. At the time it was one of the largest investments in any company Sequoia had made.

In January Skyscanner announced five new partners had invested £128 million to accelerate internmational growth.

This saw Artemis, Baillie Gifford, Khazanah, Vitruvian Partners and Yahoo! JAPAN join Scottish Equity Partners and Sequoia as investors.

In October 2015 Ctrip and Chinese “version of Airbnb” announced a share swap after talk of takeover interest.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. Learn more