Tripadvisor is looking for a buyer

Tripadvisor is looking for a buyer

By Lucia Maffei 

Needham-based Tripadvisor Inc. is ready to evaluate takeover proposals.

The travel metasearch firm (Nasdaq: TRIP) said Monday that independent directors of its board have formed a special committee “to evaluate any proposals that may be brought forward for a potential transaction, and any alternatives thereto, with regard to Tripadvisor.”

TripAdvisor”s shares jumped 14% on Tuesday to just over $25 a share after the company announced the news. As of 11:30 a.m. Tuesday the company had a market capitalization of $3.5 billion.

Centerview Partners LLC is the special committee’s financial advisor for the evaluation process.

The evaluation will include potential transactions “that may arise in the future” after Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings Inc. disclosed its intent to evaluate potential alternatives involving itself and Tripadvisor.

Tripadvisor chairman Gregory Maffei’s Liberty TripAdvisor owns 21% of Tripadvisor but has 57% voting control in the company.

Wells Fargo analyst Brian Fitzgerald wrote in a note reported by Seeking Alpha that Tripadvisor may be worth about $25 a share or more in a potential takeover, with private equity as the most likely buyer.

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