Orbitz, CheapTickets.com May Be for Sale

Cendant Corp. (CD) has received unsolicited offers for its Travel Distribution Services division, which includes the Orbitz Web site and other businesses, and said Monday it will consider selling the unit instead of spinning it off.

The spinoff of the travel unit was expected to occur in October, as part of the conglomerate's plan to split itself into four public companies by spinning off three businesses to shareholders

However, Cendant said Monday it is now considering a sale of the unit because the transaction is not expected to result in a large tax liability, as would a sale of its other divisions.

The company did not say how much it was offered for the travel unit, but The New York Times reported Monday it could sell for more than $4 billion and The Wall Street Journal said it could fetch up to $4.5 billion.

Cendant said it has hired Citigroup (C), JPMorgan (JPM) and Evercore Partners as its financial advisers for the potential sale.

Cendant's TDS — which will be renamed Travelport — includes global distribution system Galileo, which serves more than 50,000 travel agencies and over 60,000 hotels; Gullivers Travel Associates, an online provider of hotel rooms, travel packages and group tours; and online travel agencies including CheapTickets.com and Orbitz.

The company Monday reiterated its plan to spin-off Realogy Corp. and Wyndham Worldwide to shareholders as previously announced, which would result in three separate public companies, including Avis Budget Group Inc., if TDS is sold.

Net cash proceeds from a potential sale of TDS, if completed, would be used primarily to reduce debt.