News Column

TripAdvisor Takes Off as Barry Diller Sells Shares

Dec. 11, 2012

Ira Kantor, Boston Herald

Shares of Newton-based online travel website TripAdvisor spiked more than 22 percent this morning after media executive Barry Diller and The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation sold nearly 4.8 million shares in the company to Liberty Interactive Corp. at $62.50 a share.

Company shares, which closed yesterday at $38.39, reached a high today of $47.

Liberty now owns 18 million shares of common stock and nearly 12.8 million shares of Class B stock, representing nearly 22 percent of the equity and 57 percent of the total votes of all classes of the company's stock, the company said.

Diller has resigned as chairman of the board and as senior executive of TripAdvisor, but will continue serving as a director, the company said.

In a statement, Diller said his only reason for resigning as chairman and disposing of his interests "is that I have more obligations than time."

Based in Englewood, Colo., Liberty Interactive Corp. operates and owns interests in a wide range of digital commerce businesses, including QVC, which are currently attributed to two tracking stock groups -- Liberty Interactive Group and Liberty Ventures Group.

Last week, the town of Needham voted to bring TripAdvisor to First Avenue in Needham with a $1.8 million real estate tax exemption over a 13-year period.

Under a tax increment financing plan, TripAdvisor will build a new 230,000-square-foot campus at the town's New England Business Center with the possibility of building a second 200,000-square-foot building. TripAdvisor will also relocate 450 full-time jobs to Needham and create 250 new jobs under the TIF agreement.

Source: (c)2012 the Boston Herald Distributed by MCT Information Services

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