Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) one of the largest travel companies in the world last week sold 62.4% stake in eLong (NASDAQ: LONG) the largest shareholder of the Company to its rival Ctrip (NASDAQ: CTRP) and others for $671 million. The travel major sold 37.6% stakes to Ctrip for $400 million and rests to the other companies such Keystone Lodging Holdings Limited, Plateno Group Limited and Luxuriant Holdings Limited totaling the deal price approximately $671 million.
Expedia earlier emphasized to grow their presence in China by picking 30% stake in eLong in 2004 and later they raised their share to 62.4%, making them the largest shareholder of the company. The sale of the entire stake to their largest competitor seems to end Expediaâ€™s presence in China, though Expedia and Ctrip â€śhave agreed to cooperate with each other to allow their respective customers to benefit from certain travel product offerings for specified geographic markets.â€ť
Expedia, Inc. which has an extensive brand portfolio including leading online travel brands, such as Expedia.com, Hotels.com, trivago, Travelocity among others now will be cooperating with Ctrip isnâ€™t necessarily good news for its largest rival Priceline Group. Currently, eLong which provides mobile and online accommodations reservations in China has strong a network of approximately 510,000 properties worldwide will boost Ctrip of increasing its growing base in China.