Here’s the official news we just received from Expedia. Expedia shares were up $2.42, or 10.7 percent, at $24.82 in Nasdaq morning trading.
Expedia, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE) announced today that its Board of Directors has preliminarily approved a plan to separate Expedia, Inc. into two publicly traded companies:
* TripAdvisor, which will include the domestic and international operations associated with the TripAdvisor® Media Group, which includes its flagship brand as well as 18 other travel media and advertising brands, and
* Expedia, Inc., which will continue to include the domestic and international operations of the company’s travel transaction brands including Expedia.com®, Hotels.com®, eLong™, Hotwire®, Egencia®, Expedia® Affiliate Network, CruiseShipCenters®, Venere™, Classic Vacations® and carrentals.com™.
It is anticipated that the transaction will take the form of a distribution of stock of TripAdvisor to Expedia stockholders or a reclassification of Expedia stock, with the holders of Expedia stock receiving a proportionate amount of TripAdvisor stock, in either case in a tax free transaction. It is expected that Expedia’s dual-class equity capital structure and the governance arrangements between Barry Diller and Liberty Media will be mirrored at TripAdvisor following the transaction.
The transaction is subject to a number of conditions including final approval by Expedia’s Board of Directors of transaction specifics. In addition, it is expected that Expedia will seek stockholder approval of the transaction. The proposed spin-off is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2011.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.