December 21st, 2004

Hard Hat

Expedia going public again

InterActiveCorp (IAC) announced plans to spin Expedia into a public company again. Arg!

IAC owned 69% of Expedia (and 94.9% of the voting rights) about 2 years ago. Expedia's independent directors (representing the other 31%) scuttled the first attempt to take Expedia private. On a second attempt, IAC bought them off. Not in the bribery sense, but IAC sweetened the deal enough to get them to agree. Most Expedia employees were against the deal.

So we've undergone 1½ years of integration with IAC. Most recently that meant getting rid of our health plans for inferior IAC health plans.

And now we're being taken public again. What was the rational behind going private in the first place? Which rationale wass valid, the one behind going private or the one for being public?

On the other hand, the company is much larger than before. Some because of intrinsic growth. But the new Expedia will have a number of subsidiaries that were IAC-owned 2 years ago. Hotels.com, hotwire.com, etc. In all, I am in favor of my employer being a standalone company.