Thursday, September 4, 2008

Good Things *Can* Happen (Occasionally) When Local Companies Get Bought

Yes, I tend to view the glass as half-empty whenever Massachusetts companies are acquired by out-of-state sugar daddies.

But I acknowledge that sometimes, the companies stick around, grow here, and remain leaders in their sectors.

That seems to be the case with TripAdvisor, as Rob Weisman writes in today's Globe.

From the piece:

    Where other buyers have snatched the brands and shifted management control out of state, starving the local office of resources, Expedia, based in Bellevue, Wash., has provided financial support but allowed TripAdvisor to operate autonomously from Massachusetts - a practice that TripAdvisor, in turn, has extended to its own acquisitions, such as VirtualTourist, Cruise Critic, SmarterTravel, and SeatGuru.

    TripAdvisor makes the bulk of its money through advertising from travel destinations and booking sites such as Expedia, as well as its rivals Orbitz and Travelocity, to which visitors can link from TripAdvisor's site. The company posted profits of $129 million on $260 million in revenue for the 12 months ended June 30, parent Expedia reported.

    "We're absolutely committed to growing TripAdvisor as fast as we can and, frankly, to throwing as much capital at TripAdvisor as we can," said Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive of Expedia. "Very early on, when we invested in the company, they beat everything they told us they were going to do, in terms of finance and operating goals."

Here's an interview I did about a year ago with TripAdvisor co-founder Stephen Kaufer:

And last month, I bumped into Langley Steinert, the other co-founder of TripAdvisor. He's now running the automotive community site, based in Cambridge. And Kaufer serves on his board.

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September 12, 2008 6:21 AM  

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