Priceline buying OpenTable for $2.6 billion

NEW YORK - Priceline (PCLN) says it is buying online restaurant reservation company OpenTable (OPEN) for $2.6 billion. The deal should help Priceline, the online travel company, branch out into a new business segment.

Priceline Group Inc. will pay $103 per share, which is a 46 percent premium to OpenTable Inc.'s Thursday closing price of $70.43.

OpenTable seats more than 15 million diners per month at more than 31,000 restaurants. The company will still be based in San Francisco and will operate as an independent business led by its current management team.

Both companies' boards unanimously approved the transaction, which is targeted to close in the third quarter.

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