BELLEVUE, WA — The consolidation in the online travel industry continued this week with Expedia, Inc. entering into a definitive agreement to buy Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. for some $1.6 billion, and a premium of approximately 29%.
This comes after Expedia recently bought Travelocity from Sabre Corp. for $280 million and Australia’s Wotif Holdings for $612 million.
The Boards of Directors of both Expedia and Orbitz have approved the transaction, which is subject to approval by the shareholders of a majority of Orbitz Worldwide’s common stock and other customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals. The Board of Directors of Orbitz Worldwide received a fairness opinion from Qatalyst Partners and has recommended that its stockholders vote in favour of the merger.
“We are attracted to the Orbitz Worldwide business because of its strong brands and impressive team. This acquisition will allow us to deliver best-in-class experiences to an even wider set of travellers all over the world,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, President and Chief Executive Officer, Expedia, Inc.
“From the flagship Orbitz.com brand, to other well-known consumer brands such as CheapTickets, ebookers and HotelClub and the business-to-business brands Orbitz Partner Network and Orbitz for Business, the Orbitz Worldwide team has built a devoted customer base and we look forward to welcoming them to the Expedia, Inc. family.”
Expedia brands already include Hotels.com, Hotwire, eLong Inc. and Trivago.
Shares of Expedia rose after the news broke as did those of competitors Priceline and TripAdvisor.