Liberty Media Gains Voting Control of TripAdvisor, Buys 5M Shares

By FOXBusiness

Liberty Interactive (NASDAQ:LINTA) acquired voting control of TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP) on Tuesday after buying nearly 5.0 million shares of the travel site for $62.50 each.

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The shares were purchased from Barry Diller, who relinquished his majority control and is stepping down from his position as chairman. The media mogul acquired TripAdvisor through InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI) in 2004.

“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," Diller said.

TripAdvisor has yet to find a replacement for Diller, who will continue serving on the board as a director.

Billionaire John Malone’s Liberty, which was already TripAdvisor’s largest shareholder, now owns about 22% of TripAdvisor’s shares, giving it control over 57% of total votes.

TripAdvisor co-founder and CEO Steve Kaufer touted the importance of having Liberty as a shareholder and said he looks forward to expanding the relationship in the future.

Shares of TripAdvisor were up more than 9% to $41.85 in recent trade and up about 52% since January. The company’s stock was halted prior to the announcement and then again shortly after the market opened on Tuesday after triggering a circuit breaker.