UPDATE 1-Expedia to acquire stake in German travel site
Dec 21 (Reuters) - Expedia Inc said on Friday it would acquire a 61.6 percent equity stake in trivago, a German travel search engine that focuses on hotels, for roughly $632 million in cash and common stock, a move that will expand Expedia's worldwide reach.
Expedia, whose brands include Hotwire and Hotels.com, said in a statement that trivago has doubled its revenue each year since 2008 and currently expects about 100 million euros (about $132 million) in net revenue for 2012. It added trivago features search results from more than 600,000 hotels over 140 booking sites in more than 30 countries.
The acquisition "probably gives them some additional marketing opportunities," said Michael Millman of Millman Research Associates.
He added the Expedia purchase was "consistent" with Priceline.com's move to expand its travel research and advertising capabilities by announcing an acquisition of Kayak Software.
The Expedia deal is expected to close in the 2013 first half, subject to approval from competition authorities. Expedia said it expects the purchase to add to per-share profit excluding items next year.
The management team of trivago is expected to continue to operate independently from Dusseldorf, Germany, after the acquisition closes.
Shares of Expedia, which competes with Priceline and Orbitz Worldwide Inc, were down about 2 percent to $59.70 on Friday.