Expedia lays off undisclosed number of workers

SEATTLE — Expedia has laid off an undisclosed number of employees in the wake of its acquisition of one-time rival Orbitz.

Expedia said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing this week that employees will be cut from Chicago-based Orbitz as part of a restructuring resulting from a merger of the two companies.

Expedia, based outside Seattle, in Bellevue, announced its proposal to buy Orbitz for $1.6 billion in February, continuing an acquisition spree in which the company has snapped up smaller travel companies. The deal closed in September.

Expedia expects severance and benefits costs from the layoffs to total between $130 million and $150 million. Much of that, $70 million, was recorded in Expedia’s third quarter financial report last month. The company posted a quarterly profit of $283.2 million, an 8 percent year-over-year increase.

An Expedia spokesperson confirmed the Orbitz layoffs Friday, but declined to say how many employees were cut or where they were located. The news was first reported by the Puget Sound Business Journal.

The layoffs took place within the Orbitz ranks, meaning it’s likely that few, if any, Seattle-area Expedia employees were affected. Orbitz had 1,530 employees globally at the end of 2014, according to a company SEC filing.

Orbitz employees were notified of the layoffs, the spokesperson said. The company is trying to find new positions for some of them within Expedia.

Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told the Chicago Tribune in September that the company would cut “overlapping jobs” within the two businesses. Orbitz had about 800 employees in Chicago at the time.

Expedia, which had more than 18,000 full- and part-time employees at the end of 2014, has 3,000 people in Bellevue. The company announced plans earlier this year to move to a larger campus on Seattle’s waterfront. The move, expected to be completed by the end of 2018, will allow the company to grow to 4,500 local employees.

Expedia will record the remaining costs related to severances in the fourth quarter and into 2016.

(c)2015 The Seattle Times

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