TripAdvisor sold to Liberty Media
The online travel company's year of independence ends as chief stakeholder Barry Diller turns over stock.
The next time you use TripAdvisor (TRIP) reviews to book a room at a little bed and breakfast, be sure to thank the big media conglomerate that just took control of it.
TripAdvisor was an independent, publicly traded company for roughly a year before media executive and chief stakeholder Barry Diller sold his shares to Liberty Media (LMCA) on Tuesday. The 4.8 million shares previously held by Diller and his Diller-Von Furstenburg Foundation sold for $62.50 a share -- nearly 40% more than TripAdvisor's roughly $38 share price when the market closed on Monday -- and gave Liberty 57% of the company's voting shares.
Liberty has held a stake in TripAdvisor for a few years and still owns shares of its former parent company Expedia (EXPE), which spun off TripAdvisor last December. Now the travel site joins a collection of holdings that includes the Atlanta Braves, QVC, the Starz family of television channels, Evite and Proflowers.com and a company that's still fixated on taking over Sirius-XM (SIRI) satellite radio.
TripAdvisor hasn't exactly been a mom-and-pop shop in some time. Four years after it was founded by current chief executive Stephen Kaufer, it was snatched up by Diller's InterActiveCorp (IACI) and placed in a huge Web portfolio that now includes Match.com, Dictionary.com, Vimeo, Newsweek/The Daily Beast and Internet relics like Excite and Ask.com. TripAdvisor was then spun off into Expedia, which used it to vacuum up smaller online travel properties like SmarterTravel and FlipKey.
Even when Expedia spun it off last year, TripAdvisor's media group still held nearly 20 online travel brands in more than 25 countries. Under Diller's watch, it grew from a startup with $23 million in annual revenue to a company worth more than $5 billion.
"Ever since we acquired TripAdvisor in 2004 it's been one of the smoothest and most trouble-free growth stories I've ever known," Diller said in the company's sale announcement Tuesday.
Still, on the same day that Delta (DAL) took a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic and got prime spots at London's Heathrow airport and increased access to European and Asia in return, travelers have reason to be concerned about consolidation. Just last month, Priceline.com (PCLN) acquired travel search engine Kayak (KYAK) for nearly $2 billion, somewhat nullifying Kayak's existence as a comparison spot for sites like Priceline, Travelocity, Expedia and others.
Liberty Media has long held an interest in both Expedia and TripAdvisor. While it doesn't have full control of the former, its big move for the latter keeps a collaboration or possible reunion on the table. TripAdvisor has survived and thrived during big media consolidation before, but consumers and reviewers may see more changes and partnerships if TripAdvisor takes an extended stay in conglomerateland this time around.
More from Money Now
- What Cory Booker is learning about food stamps
- Why are gun stocks tumbling?
- Google's $2 billion tax dodge
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.
Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More
More Market News
Serious issues like drought and the deterioration of the developed world spell opportunity for this industry leader.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'