John Malone's Liberty Interactive Corp. (NASDAQ: LINTA) this morning announced that it has acquired a controlling interest in TripAdvisor Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) in a transaction worth $300 million. Liberty acquired approximately 4.8 million shares of TripAdvisor from Barry Diller and the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation. Diller is chairman and CEO of IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IACI) and the husband of fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg.
Liberty has said that its stake in TripAdvisor will be "attributed" to its Liberty Ventures (NASDAQ: LVNTA) tracking stock. Liberty Ventures holds the company's nonconsolidated assets, which include stakes in AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL), Expedia Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPD), Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), among others.
TripAdvisor's travel planning services dovetail nicely with Expedia's travel booking business and may be Liberty's response to the recent $1.8 billion Priceline.com Inc. (NASDAQ: PCLN) buyout of Kayak Software Corp. (NASDAQ: KYAK). Liberty's acquisition of control of TripAdvisor is likely not intended to compete with the Priceline/Kayak duo as much as it is a potential growth driver for Expedia and ultimately Liberty.
TripAdvisor's shares are up about 9.2% at $41.79 in a 52-week range of $23.99 to $47.81.
Liberty Interactive's shares are up 0.1% at $19.16 in a 52-week range of $15.13 to $20.95.
Liberty Ventures' shares are up 9.1% at $63.90 after posting a new 52-week high of $64.22 earlier today. The previous range was $40.00 to $59.81.
Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Internet, Technology Companies Tagged: AOL, EXPD, IACI, KYAK, LINTA, PCLN, TRIP, TWC, TWX