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German travel site Trivago files for IPO in US

[SAN FRANCISCO] German-based hotel booking site Trivago, controlled by US online travel giant Expedia, on Monday filed for a public share offering in New York.

The firm founded in 2005 which aims to connect travellers to hotels at the lowest rate is used for booking at 1.3 million hotels in over 190 countries, and has 55 localised websites and apps in 33 languages.

The company said in a statement that the number of shares to be offered and the price range had not been determined. But the filing gave a preliminary estimate it would raise US$400 million in the initial public offering.

The IPO will be led by a Dutch-based entity called travel BV, which will be the holding company for the German startup.

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Expedia bought a controlling share of trivago in 2012 and will retain shares after the IPO, according to the filing.

According to the filing, Expedia and the founders will consider a corporate reorganisation within 12 months of the IPO.

The company took in some 580 million euros (S$906 million) in revenue in the past fiscal year but has been consistently losing money.

The filing says it has growth opportunities because "consumers are increasingly looking for tools to enable them to navigate through multiple hotel booking options simultaneously and compare prices" through an independent platform.

"We believe that we are reshaping hotel discovery for our users, while changing the way hotel advertisers identify, engage with and acquire travellers."

Trivago competes with other "metasearch" platforms such as Priceline's Kayak which help travellers compare listings, offering links to booking sites or hotels themselves.