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Liberty Interactive acquires voting control of TripAdvisor, values it at $9B

Digital commerce group Liberty Interactive Corporation has purchased additional shares of Nasdaq-listed TripAdvisor Inc in a $300 million deal which has given it majority voting stake in the world's largest travel services firm. The deal values the company at around $9 billion.

Liberty purchased a total of 4,799,848 shares of common stock of TripAdvisor from Barry Diller and The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation at a price of $62.50 per share. This is almost 63 per cent premium to the last traded price of TripAdvisor on December 10. The company's scrip shot up around 9 per cent in early trades on Tuesday at Nasdaq, valuing the firm at around $6 billion.

As part of the transaction, Diller's right to control the vote of the shares of TripAdvisor's common stock and Class B common stock that are beneficially owned by Liberty has been terminated and Liberty now controls a majority voting stake in TripAdvisor.

Liberty now owns and controls 18,159,752 shares of common stock and 12,799,999 shares of Class B common stock of TripAdvisor, representing approximately 22 per cent of the equity and 57 per cent of the total votes of all classes of TripAdvisor common stock.

Concurrently with the transaction, Diller resigned as chairman of the board of directors and as senior executive of TripAdvisor, but will continue serving as a director of TripAdvisor.

"Ever since we acquired TripAdvisor in 2004 it's been one of the smoothest and most trouble-free growth stories I've ever known," said Barry Diller. "During that time it grew from a startup with $23 million in annual revenues to a $5 billion plus public company with a global brand that operates the world's largest travel site. Its great progress has happened because of the superb talents of its co-founder and CEO, Steve Kaufer, and the team he leads. My only reason for resigning as Chairman and disposing of my interests is that I have more obligations than time and transferring control of TripAdvisor to Liberty is something I'm very comfortable with – Liberty has proven itself a fine steward and leader of its controlled businesses."

Steve Kaufer, co-founder and CEO of TripAdvisor said, "Liberty has been an important stockholder of ours and we look forward to continuing this relationship in the future."

Greg Maffei, Liberty President and CEO said, "TripAdvisor is an established leader in the travel industry and our increased investment in the company is a strong addition to our portfolio."

Nasdaq-listed Liberty operates and owns interests in a broad range of digital commerce businesses including Backcountry.com, Bodybuilding.com, Celebrate Interactive (including Evite and Liberty Advertising), CommerceHub, MotoSport, Provide Commerce, QVC,Right Start and Liberty Interactive Corporation's interests in HSN and Lockerz.

The Liberty Ventures Group (a separate Nasdaq listed firm) comprises Liberty's non-consolidated assets, including interests in AOL, Expedia, Interval Leisure Group, Time Warner, Time Warner Cable, Tree.com (Lending Tree), TripAdvisor and various green energy investments.

TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 60 million unique monthly visitors and over 75 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com.

TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors. TripAdvisor, Inc.'s travel media brands include www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.everytrail.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com,www.flipkey.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.onetime.com, www.seatguru.com, www.sniqueaway.com,www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.travel-library.com, www.travelpod.com, www.virtualtourist.com, www.whereivebeen.com, and www.kuxun.cn.

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