Yahoo Japan announced on December 15 that one of the biggest portal sites in Japan will acquire 100% ownership of ikkyo.com, the luxury hotel and restaurant booking website, purchasing an Ikkyu.com stock at 3,433 JPY on take-over-bid (TOB). Both of the online companies will sign a business partnership contract to expand their respective services and create a synergy effect.
Ikkyu.com founder and CEO Masafumi Mori announced sellout of its stocks in August 2015 and looked for a partner helping ikkyu.com grow. Mori explained at a news conference that ikkyu.com has selected Yahoo Japan as a partner with a big expectation to the Yahoo Japan’s ability to pull in customers online.
Mori will leave Ikkyu.com on February 10 2016, and Jun Sakakibara, Ikkyu.com vice president, will take office as a new representative director.
Ikkyu.com operates Ikkyu.com Business, Ikyyu.com Restaurant, Ikkyu.com Kaigai for luxury hotels in foreign countries, Okuru Ikkyu for gift tickets and Ikkyu.com Spa for spa coupons as well as the main booking engine Ikkyu.com. Members totaled about 4.13 million as of September 2015.
After completion of the buyout, Yahoo Japan will provide Ikkyu.com’s inventories on its e-commerce businesses, such as Yahoo! Travel, Yahoo! Booking Restaurant or Yahoo! Shopping. Also, a synergy effect with Yahoo Japan’s media business is expected to extend customer segments more widely.
“We do not have a plan to reorganize our brands,” Manabu Miyasaka, Yahoo Japan President and Representative Director said. “We will respect each brand’s customers” Ikkyu.com has spent a large scale of advertising budgets to attract users to the booking site, however the partnership with Yahoo Japan will give Ikkyu.com a chance to connect with the Japan’s largest portal site. “We have a variety of possibilities to connect Ikkyu.com services with Yahoo Japan,” Miyasak said. Also, he suggested that it is possible to use big data of users Yahoo Japan has to introduce Ikkyu.com services.
Yahoo Japan has an idea to maintain the current Ikkyu.com’s business model for a while, although Yahoo! Travel and Yahoo! Booking Restaurant do not collect commissions from listing hotels or shops because they are still on a stage to increase inventories. As a matter of fact, it is difficult for a follower company to catch up with Ikkyu.com in the online booking market for luxury hotels or restaurants, according to Yahoo Japan.
TOP price is 3,433 JPY a stock, which is about 40% higher than the price as of the first announcement about the sellout because the Ikkyu.com’s record-breaking financial results are highly valued. The TOB period will run from December 16 2015 to February 3 2016.