Expedia Inc. sold
its 62% stake in China-based eLong after a decade of investment, the company said on Friday.
Expedia sold its shares for
$671 million to Ctrip.com International, Keystone Lodging Holdings Ltd.,
Planteno Group Ltd. and Luxuriant Holdings Ltd.
Ctrip, the largest online travel company in China, in a separate statement
Friday said it acquired 38% of eLong for about $400 million.
Ctrip and Expedia have "agreed to cooperate with each other to allow
their respective customers to benefit from certain travel product
offerings for specified geographic markets," Expedia said.
Expedia's rival in the U.S., Priceline Group, owns a piece of Ctrip, having invested $500 million in the company last year.
Expedia’s shares were up more
than 5% on Friday afternoon.
Expedia’s investment in eLong
dated to 2005, when Expedia’s parent at the time, IAC/InterActiveCorp, bought
shares in the company. Expedia acquired an
additional 16% of eLong in 2011 to bring its total stake to 62%.
Expedia has decreased its presence in China after increasing it in other markets.
Late last year, Expedia bought Australia-based OTA Wotif Group for about $612
million. Earlier this year, the company grew even stronger in the U.S. with the acquisition of Travelocity.
And in February, Expedia reached an agreement to buy Orbitz
for $1.34 billion, though that transaction is under review by U.S. regulators.