Real estate heavyweight Cendant Corp. confirmed today that it will purchase online travel site Orbitz for $1.25 billion in cash, or about $27.50 per share. The acquisition of Orbitz places Cendant among leading domestic online travel businesses.

Orbitz was founded by the top five air carriers: American, United, Delta, Northwest and Continental, and each still holds a stake in the online travel company. Its largest competitor,, is owned by InterActiveCorp, which also owns LendingTree, and ServiceMagic, among other business channels., which launched in June 2001, enables travelers to search for airline tickets from more than 455 airlines, lodging, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages.

Orbitz is debt-free and, as of June 30, had approximately $200 million in cash on hand. Orbitz and Cendant board of directors approved the deal, but it is still subject to regulatory and other approvals.

Cendant said it intends to maintain both the Orbitz and CheapTickets businesses as differentiated consumer brands in the leisure travel sector. In the corporate travel sector, customers will be able to choose between Travelport and Orbitz for Business, using the best of what each brand has developed. The integration plans anticipate that CheapTickets and Travelport will combine their technology platforms and operations to form a common platform with Orbitz, based in Chicago.

“The Orbitz acquisition fits perfectly with Cendant’s articulated goal to be among the leaders in every business in which we participate,” Cendant’s Chief Financial Officer Ronald L. Nelson said.

Cendant owns the Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Coldwell Banker Commercial and ERA real estate franchise brokerages. Cendant Corp. is a parent of NRT Inc., which has a number of corporate-owned real estate brands, including: The Sunshine Group, The Corcoran Group, Coldwell Banker, Coldwell Banker Commercial, ERA and Sotheby’s.

Travel, hospitality and vehicle and marketing/financial services are also among Cendant’s business divisions. In addition, the company owns Galileo International, a computerized reservation system used by travel agents.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cendant will commence simultaneous cash tender offers to acquire all Orbitz outstanding Class A and Class B shares at a price of $27.50 per share. Following successful completion of the tender offers, any remaining shares of Orbitz will be acquired in a cash merger at the same price.

The transaction is expected to be close in November.

Cendant shares (NYSE:CD) traded at $21.70 this morning, down slightly from Tuesday’s closing price of $22.02. Orbitz shares (Nasdaq: ORBZ) traded at $27.13 today, up from Tuesday’s closing price of $20.77.


Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 133.

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription