US internet-based travel service Priceline.com has bought Active Hotels in Cambridge for $161m (£89.87m).
Active Hotels is an internet hotel reservation service, with access to 8,000 hotels and B&Bs in the UK and Europe and distribution relationships with a significant number of other European travel sites.
It has been profitable since the start of 2003 and is expected to announce a 100% rise in gross bookings to $160m (£89.30) and a 115% increase in revenues to $22 (£12.3m) for the year to 30 September.
The current management team will remain at Active Hotels under chief executive Andrew Phillips and will continue to run as an independent business.
"As one of the fastest growing hotel services in the European market, Active Hotels will play an important part in Priceline's growth plans," said Priceline.com president and chief executive officer Jeffery Boyd.
"For our hotel customers, we expect that this will provide additional US demand from one of the market leaders," said Active Hotels chief executive Andrew Phillips.
"For web sites that work with us, the deal should provide low-priced hotel rooms in the US, complementing our market-leading European stock."
"Under Priceline.com's ownership and with their backing, we plan to expand still faster and consolidate our already strong position."
by Angela Frewin