Expedia is to split the wider group into two separate companies, giving TripAdvisor its first taste of the public markets in its own right.
The spin-off, announced in a statement at the end of trading on Wall Street in the US today, will see TripAdvisor become a public company by the third quarter of 2011.
The decision was given preliminary clearance by the board of directors of Expedia Inc and is subject to final approval by the board at a later date.
The two new businesses will feature the following:
- TripAdvisor including the main user review site as well as the 18 other companies included in the wider TripAdvisor Media Network such as AirfareWatchdog, CruiseCritic and FlipKey.
- Expedia, Egencia, Hotwire, Hotels.com and eLong and a number of other related leisure and business agency-led businesses.
The split will include the redistribution of TripAdvisor stock to Expedia shareholders or a reclassification of Expedia stock to ensure shareholders receive a proportionate amount of stock from the user review giant.
The decision to separate the two companies will also include provision to mirror the existing dual-class equity capital structure of Expedia Inc between current chairman Barry Diller and Liberty Media.
Expedia, then under the IAC umbrella, bought TripAdvisor in 2004, just four years after its launch by current CEO Steve Kaufer and co-founder Langley Steinert.
The company has since grown to become the omnipresent player in hotel reviews but has bought a string of media-related companies covering cruise, trip planning, vacation rentals and flash sales, as well as launching its own flight metasearch engine on the main site.