January 02 2015

Reflections on the 2014 Hot M&A Market for Hotel Technology

As 2014 ends, many hotel folks take time off for the holidays to be with family and friends…as it should be. This means a slow time for getting business done which gives me time to reflect on the amazing year that 2014 was in regards to acquisitions in hotel technology. I mean, when was the last time time that so many of the industry’s “prime time players” changed hands? Below are some of my favorites that are sure to have long lasting impact…

  • Oracle acquires MICROS: For the low low price of $5.3B, the global giant Oracle expands into yet two more verticals…technology for Hotels & Restaurants. While there was significant overlap with MICROS’ retail POS business, Hotels & Restaurants represent green-field grown. MICROS already possessed a dominant global market share in both verticals. Time will tell as to the impact of this blending of businesses.
  • Amadeus acquires Newmarket International: $500MM later, Amadeus has a foot in the door for technology that manage on-site hotel operations. This is a huge strategic move for the GDS company to expand into a new area of the market. This overall strategy was recounted in an tnooz interview of Jeff Edwards/EVP Global Hotel Group.
  • Priceline acquires Buuteeq: Priceline, another ‘above property’ company like Amadeus has purchased its way into helping hotels market themselves beyond just providing and managing a distribution channel. With Priceline’s deep pockets and industry reach, this ups the competitive heat on the traditional big players in hotel marketing like TravelClick and others.

This certainly makes for an interesting 2015! Time will tell if these large acquisitions are the beginning of a trend or if M&A activity will slow for a bit while the market evaluates the effectiveness and impact of the 2014 acquisitions.