Yahoo Japan buying travel site owner Ikyu

posted on December 16, 2015

Yahoo Japan will purchase travel website operator Ikyu for about 100 billion yen ($818 million), hoping to bolster its own online booking business as it adapts to the shifting digital landscape.

Under a deal announced Tuesday, the Internet portal giant will buy all Ikyu shares for 3,433 yen apiece in a tender offer running from Dec. 16 to Feb. 3. Ikyu is expected to delist.

Ikyu handles reservations for luxury hotels, inns and restaurants and boasts roughly 4.13 million members. Founder and President Masabumi Mori is its top shareholder, with a 41% stake. Mori will step down Feb. 10, with Executive Vice President Jun Sakaki replacing him. Yahoo Japan President Manabu Miyasaka is slated to become Ikyu's chairman.

Yahoo Japan's business model relies heavily on advertising on its home page, which features news, weather and other content. Ad money makes up roughly 70% of total sales, with the rest coming partly from service fees generated by its auction site.

But with the rise of smartphone apps serving the same functions as Yahoo Japan portals, the flow of ad money will likely slow. The company has had to find other drivers of revenue.

source by nikkei
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