Expedia to part company with Trip Advisor


Online travel giant Expedia has unveiled plans to spin off its TripAdvisor brand in a deal that could value the popular user reviews site at $4bn. Dara Khosrowshahi, Expedia chief executive, said Trip Advisor had grown to a point that it was now ready to be spun off into a pure-play media company. Expedia said it hopes to split into two public companies – Expedia and TripAdvisor – by the third quarter of 2011.



TripAdvisor will include 18 popular brands in addition to its flagship site, such as Booking Buddy, while Expedia, which was set up by Microsoft in 1996 before being spun off itself, will continue to hold brands such as Expedia.com and Hotels.com.

TripAdvisor allows travellers to post reviews and attracts more than 40 million visitors a month across 29 countries.

Expedia, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, employs 8,900 staff worldwide and includes brands such as Chinese subsidiary eLong and Cruise Ship Centers.

TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site and was set up in 2000 before becoming part of Expedia in 2005.

TripAdvisor now owns a range of travel sites including Airfare Watchdog, Cruise Critic and Holiday Lettings.

The separation is expected to take the form of a spin-off of TripAdvisor stock to Expedia shareholders or a reclassification of Expedia stock with holders receiving a proportionate amount of TripAdvisor stock.

Expedia reported revenues of 3.3 billion US dollars (£2 billion) in 2010, a 13% increase on 2009. Within this, TripAdvisor saw revenues increase 38% to 486 million US dollars (£296 million).

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