Expedia will stop being a controlled company after it acquires Liberty, and Barry Diller, chairman of Expedia, will own about 29 percent of the online travel group's voting power. The move makes the company's ownership structure more transparent, which is a good thing.
Expedia Group said Tuesday it will buy out Liberty Expedia Holdings in an all-stock deal. Until now, Expedia has been controlled by the investment vehicle run by Expedia Chairman Barry Diller. After the deal, Diller will own approximately 29 percent of Expedia’s voting power.
Within several months, Diller has an option to raise his voting rights to up to 48 percent of the company.
The move removes the “super-voting” shares of billionaire media mogul John Malone, who agreed to the deal.
“[The deal] represents a strong benefit to our shareholders,” said Mark Okerstrom, CEO of Expedia Group, in a statement, “by simplifying and improving our corporate and governance structure and effecting a meaningful reduction in our share count.”
Diller’s internet conglomerate IAC helped build Expedia after being launched by Microsoft in 1996. Diller made Dara Khosrowshahi the boss of Expedia in the mid-2000s and made Okerstrom boss in 2017 after Khosrowshahi’s departure for Uber.
“This road, frequently travelled since 1994, between me, John Malone, and Liberty Media, has produced much success, none of which could have been possible without Dr. Malone’s encouragement and support,” Diller said in a statement. “While the formal partnership ends with this transaction, my gratitude to John and Liberty will never end for giving me the opportunity to begin the journey.”
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Photo credit: Shown here is Barry Diller. Expedia will stop being a controlled company by Diller's vehicle after the deal is complete, and Chairman Barry Diller will own about 29% of the company's voting power. Barry Diller, chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp, spoke during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. Chris Goodney / Bloomberg