Expedia buys Orbitz Worldwide for $1.33 bn; Orbitz shares up 23%

BELLEVUE, Wash. – Expedia is buying rival online travel site Orbitz for approximately $1.33 billion to extend its reach in the travel-booking industry.

It’s Expedia’s second major deal in the past month as the industry consolidates. Expedia announced the $280 million acquisition of another rival, Travelocity, in late January.

Orbitz owns CheapTickets, HotelClub. Expedia owns Hotels.com and Hotwire.

Expedia, based in Bellevue, Washington, will pay $12 per share, a 25 per cent premium to the Orbitz’ closing price of $9.62 Wednesday.

The boards of both companies have approved the deal, but it still requires a nod from Orbitz shareholders.

Orbitz had said in January that it was considering selling itself.

Shares of Orbitz Worldwide Inc., based in Chicago, are up more than 23 per cent in premarket trading and Expedia is up 5 per cent.

The other big travel booking company is the Priceline Group, which owns sites like Priceline, Booking.com, Kayak and OpenTable. Priceline’s stock rose 1.8 per cent to $1,078.89 in premarket trading.

While those companies dominate the travel market – and are taking advantage of quickly-growing markets in developing countries – they are facing new pressures at home from more-innovative sites like airfare search Hipmunk and last-minute deal site HotelTonight.


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