King Rat (gkr) wrote,
King Rat

Business news

The wire services are now running a story, where USA Interactive</a>, which owns a majority of the stock of my employer, Expedia Inc., has offered to purchase the portion of Expedia that it does not own, and take us private.

What does this mean? Well, a couple of months ago, our biggest competitor, Travelocity, was taken private by it's majority owner, The Sabre Group. In that case, it was partially because Travelocity was not doing as well as Expedia.

In our case, we are doing rather well. Why they want to take us private, I don't know. Lots of things could happen though.

  • Stock option holders could get screwed. I hold a number of unvested options. We could also receive a premium on our options (such as early vesting).
  • We could be merged with (formerly Hotel Reservations Network), which is a competitor of ours in the hotel arena that USA Interactive also owns. They could merge us into them, or them into us.
  • Management would almost certainly be less independent that it now is. We would have no independent directors of Expedia. Independence would only be from the independent directors of USA Interactive. Perhaps our management will be stripped down.
  • The company could be relocated. Centralized at USA's headquarters. I doubt the entire company, but perhaps upper management might be moved and the rest of us remain in Bellevue. Boeing, a large Seattle based company, recently moved it's headquarters to Chicago. They still have a large presence here, but the high mucky-mucks are all based elsewhere now. Perhaps that will happen here.

There will be lots of speculation amongst the employees tomorrow, and likely little work will be done. I figure my job is safe. However, day to day operations could be drastically different six months from now due to this. Working in corporate America can be somewhat exciting. Prior to this, I've only worked for smaller, non-public companies that had from 5 to 100 employees. They had their own upheavals, but they were of a very different nature than the ones at a larger company such as Expedia.


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