Speculation has emerged suggesting that Orbitz Worldwide is exploring a sale, with Google mentioned as a possible suitor.
Orbitz Worldwide, which runs Orbitz.com, Cheaptickets.com and ebookers, is working with a financial adviser as it reaches out to potential buyers, people with knowledge of the matter were reported by Bloomberg as saying.
Chicago-based Orbitz has drawn interest from private equity funds and other internet companies, the people suggested, without identifying potential buyers.
Orbitz has long been the smallest player in online travel without the benefit of economies of scale, according to Daniel Kurnos, an analyst at Benchmark Co.
The company may be seeking to gain that scale in an increasingly competitive space, he said. US airlines are flying at record capacity in the US as fuel – their largest expense – is at the lowest level in six years.
“Someone from the outside looking for a foothold in the industry,” would be a logical suitor for Orbitz, Kurnos said, including Google.
Aaron Stein, a spokesman for Google, declined to comment to Bloomberg.
Orbitz shares jumped as much as 15% in New York trading and ended up 8.6% at $9.95, giving the company a market value of about $1.1 billion.
An Orbitz spokesman declined to comment on the company’s plans.