Another Expedia-nt Deal for USA Networks

USA Networks Inc., which just got through buying a controlling interest in online travel agency Expedia Inc. , now is buying another $47 million in shares.

Bellevue, Wash.-based Expedia said it will use the money to retire the outstanding debt from its previously announced $52 million acquisition of Classic Custom Vacations.

USA Networks will purchase 936,815 shares of Expedia common stock for $50.17 per share. Expedia closed Tuesday at $50.77.

With this purchase, USA holds 64.6 percent of Expedia’s outstanding shares and will continue to control 94.9 percent of the voting interest in Expedia.

USA Networks will be renamed USA Interactive upon the close of its pending transaction with Vivendi , and will consist of Expedia as well as the Home Shopping Network, Ticketmaster and Hotel Reservations Network, among others.

Paris-based Vivendi agreed to a $10.3 billion deal with USA Networks in a move aimed at improving distribution of the French media giant’s music and movies in the United States.

Travel deals have been much in the news; just yesterday rival online travel operation Travelocity got an unsolicited offer from Sabre Holdings Corp.

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