Tripadvisor Rules Out a Merger for Now

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Skift Take

Tripadvisor apparently got an offer it was easy to refuse.

Tripadvisor stated this morning that a merger is not in the works for now.

“The Special Committee has determined that at this time, there is no transaction with a third party that is in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders,” the company said as part of its first quarter earnings announcement. “The Special Committee will continue to evaluate proposed alternatives as appropriate. There can be no assurance that any transaction will result, and the Company does not expect to provide further updates unless it has something definitive to share.”

The special committee was a reference to an independent board committee that the company formed after controlling shareholder Liberty Tripadvisor announced in February it had received a merger proposal that would have involved both Liberty Tripadvisor and Tripadvisor.

Skift reported that private equity firm Apollo Global Management was a likely suitor. There was speculation about whether other bidders were involved either in partnership with Apollo or independently.

There was also analysis that Liberty Tripadvisor and Tripadvisor entered any talks in a weak negotiating position because Liberty Tripadvisor is on the hook to Certares to repay a $325 million preferred stock investment by March 2025.

The mission of Tripadvisor’s special committee was to evaluation any merger proposals and to embark on discussions about them or any alternative courses of action.

Either the company didn’t come to terms with the bidder or bidders or perhaps any bids were withdrawn.

What’s Next?

With Tripadvisor without a deep-pocketed dance partner for now, what’s next for the company?

It might perhaps proceed with earlier plans to spin off Viator into a separate public company, although that hadn’t been a priority prior to February when Liberty Tripadvisor revealed that a buyout proposal had come in over the transom.

Tripadvisor released its first quarter earnings Wednesday morning. So did Liberty Tripadvisor so perhaps there will be some comment on the path forward from either or both companies.

In the first quarter, Tripadvisor’s net income loss narrowed to $59 million, from negative $73 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 6% to $395 million.

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