Let the online travel fun really begin – Expedia pays $632 million for majority stake in Trivago

ExpediaTrivagoExpedia gave the online travel world some exciting news before Christmas, announcing their entry into a definitive agreement to acquire a 61.6% equity position in Trivago for total consideration of €477 million (approximately US$632 million) including €434 million in cash as well as €43 million in Expedia, Inc. common stock. Expedia, Inc. expects the deal to be accretive to adjusted earnings per share in 2013.  Trivago are a leading metasearch company headquartered in Dusseldorf, Germany and this move clearly is a fight back to the other big news Q4 2012 which saw Priceline buy Kayak.  Queue the online travel fight!

Commenting on the acquisition,  Dara Khosrowshahi, Expedia President and Cheif Executive Officer said: “The Trivago team built one of the largest, fastest growing and most well known travel sites in Europe conducting more than 100 million hotel searches annually through a culture focused on developing great products, building a strong brand and promoting partners’ businesses. These attributes closely align with our Expedia, Inc. strategy and values and we are thrilled to have them join our portfolio.” 

Founded seven years ago, Trivago quickly grew into a consumer champion for hotel accommodation featuring comprehensive search results from over 600,000 hotels across over 140 booking sites in over 30 countries in 23 languages.  Through its primarily cost-per-click revenue model, Trivago profitably doubled revenue each year since 2008 and currently expects to deliver approximately €100 million in net revenue for 2012.

“We are very excited to join the Expedia, Inc. portfolio and eager to learn from their experience, having built-up some of the world’s most trusted travel brands,” said Rolf Schromgens, Trivago co-founder and Managing Director. “Our passion and focus will remain on independently evolving our comprehensive and individualized hotel search. We will stay committed to our mission: To empower consumers to find their ideal hotel at the lowest possible rates.”

The deal is anticipated to close during the first half of 2013 pending approval from relevant competition authorities.  Post close, the Trivago co-founders and management team will continue to operate independently based out of Trivago’s headquarters in Dusseldorf, Germany – very much as was announced in the Kayak/Priceline deal.

Expedia already house big travel brands such as Hotels.com, Hotwire, Egencia, Venere and Classic Vacations, adding Trivago adds even more power to the hotel side of their business and makes for an interested landscape in giant OTA’s.  On the news, Priceline’s shares were down a fraction and Expedia flat in late trading during that Monday’s trading session.

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