Expedia Buying Stake in Travel Site Trivago for $628 Million

Expedia Inc., an online travel-booking service, said it is buying a majority stake in German hotel booking and search site Trivago for about $628 million in cash and stock, seeking to expand its presence in Europe.

Expedia’s stake in Dusseldorf-based Trivago will be 61.6 percent, the companies said in a statement. Expedia is paying 434 million euros in cash and 43 million euros in common stock. Trivago’s co-founders and management will continue to operate the site, which delivers search results for more than 600,000 hotels from about 140 booking sites.

Online-travel websites have been seeking revenue through acquisitions as more people book business trips and vacations on the Web. Internet travel sales may reach $151.9 billion by 2016 from $107.4 billion in 2011, according to EMarketer Inc.

Priceline.com Inc., the most valuable online-travel agency, agreed last month to buy comparison-shopping travel site Kayak Software Corp. for $1.8 billion in cash and stock. Priceline purchased Amsterdam-based Booking.com, the hotel search site, in 2005.

Priceline’s sales will grow 21 percent this year to $5.25 billion, according to analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Expedia’s revenue is projected to grow 16 percent to $3.99 billion this year.

Trivago has doubled sales annually since 2008, and expects to deliver 100 million euros in net revenue this year, according to Expedia. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2013, the companies said.

Bellevue, Washington-based Expedia’s shares declined 2.1 percent to $59.62 at 12:19 p.m. in New York.

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