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Expedia to Sell Off $1B Stake to Private Equity Firms: Report

Expedia and other travel-related firms have seen revenues evaporate due to coronavirus lockdowns across the globe.
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Expedia is nearing a deal to sell off a stake worth $1 billion to private equity firms Silver Lake and Apollo Global, the WSJ reported on Tuesday. 

The deal could close as soon as this week, according to the paper, and the investment is intended to help the struggling firm ride out the coronavirus pandemic. Shares of Expedia  (EXPE)  were up 5% in after-hours trading following the report. 

Travel-booking site Expedia generated about $12 billion in revenue last year, but has seen its sales evaporate amid global travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders tied to the pandemic. 

The company underwent a major restructuring in late February, laying off 3,000 workers as the coronavirus began to curb global travel in and out of Asia.  

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Shares of Expedia have fallen close to 50% year to date. 

Expedia, TripAdvisor  (TRIP) , Booking Holdings  (BKNG)  and other travel-related businesses were among the first and hardest hit by the pandemic, with demand for flights, cruises and other travel-related services falling dramatically throughout March. 

Likewise, privately-owned Airbnb Inc. has seen demand for short-term bookings plummet and enacted a number of measures aimed at preserving cash, including halting new hiring, laying off contract workers and raising private equity funds to stay afloat until travel demand recovers. 

The online rental marketplace raised $1 billion in debt and equity from Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners, and is also reportedly pushing off plans to go public. 

Shares of TripAdvisor rose 44 cents, or 2.5% to $17.80 in after-hours trading. Booking Holdings shares were flat.