that it has acquired the common stock of Trip Network, Inc. (TNI) from an
independent business trust. Terms were not disclosed and the amounts were
not material to Cendant.
Caption: Sam E.
Galeotos, president and chief executive officer of Galileo International
The acquisition is not expected to have a material
impact on the Company`s earnings. This transaction reflects Cendant`s
previously announced strategy to simplify its accounting through the
acquisition of affiliated companies and to provide its investors with
transparent financial information.
TNI is the fourth largest full service online travel agent behind Expedia,
Travelocity and Orbitz. Trip Network was established in March 2001 and began
operating CheapTickets.com and Trip.com in October 2001 through licensing
agreements with Cendant following the Company`s acquisitions of Cheap
Tickets, Inc. and Galileo International, which owned Trip.com.
Effective immediately, Trip Network will become part of Cendant`s Travel
Distribution Services Division and operate as part of its Retail Travel
Services business unit, which also operates Lodging.com and Cendant Travel,
a call center-based travel agency with six customer centers in the United
States. The addition of Trip Network`s 170 employees, consisting primarily
of technology and product development personnel based in Denver, will add
capacity and thereby help to facilitate Cendant`s future online penetration
in key corporate and leisure markets around the world.
“We are delighted to welcome the Trip Network team to Cendant,” commented Sam E.
, president and chief executive officer of Galileo International and
Cendant Travel Distribution Services. “Cendant has assembled an impressive
portfolio of travel distribution assets. The addition of Trip Network`s
technology and its experienced team supports our efforts to grow our online
business and strengthen Cendant`s position as one of the world`s leading
providers of travel content and transaction processing services.”
As part of the integration, Cendant
will position Cheap Tickets as its
primary consumer brand and phase out the Trip.com brand from the leisure
travel market. However, the Company plans to maintain Cendant`s collection
of travel related Web sites under the Trip Network umbrella. Additionally,
Trip.com`s booking engine will remain as the backbone of the Company`s third
party, private label Web site strategy.
“Despite the progress Trip.com made in the last year, it is simply not
feasible to continue operating two separate brands, especially in the
current geopolitical environment,” Galeotos said. “Clearly, Cheap Tickets
is the stronger consumer brand. We believe we will be far more successful
in putting Cendant`s resources behind our new Cheap Tickets Web site
considering the investment needed to elevate Trip.com to Cheap Tickets`
brand recognition and performance level.”
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