TripAdvisor takes a detour from market rout amid takeover talk


TripAdvisor Inc. added more than a half billion dollars to its market capitalisation over the past two days as the broader market shed $1.25 trillion, after the online travel company appointed famed venture capitalist Jay Hoag, co-founder of Technology Crossover Ventures, to its board.

Late Friday, Technology Crossover Ventures reported indirect ownership of 2.3 million shares in the firm as of Jan. 31, making it a top 20 holder. The appointment of Hoag, a long serving board member at Netflix Inc., comes amid takeover speculation involving the firm.

In late November, Cowen analyst Kevin Kopelman wrote that he saw a 50 percent chance of a takeover in the near-term at $50 a share, likely by Priceline Group Inc. or Expedia Inc., where Hoag also was a board member. And last March, Chairman Greg Maffei said the business may be attractive to buyers, possibly inviting companies to take a closer look.

Naturally all M&A roads would run through John Malone, whose Liberty Interactive owns 57% of the voting power of TripAdvisor. A spokeswoman for Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings Inc. declined to comment on the share move.

TripAdvisor is scheduled to report earnings on Feb. 14.