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Expedia moves ahead with listing of Trivago travel search unit -sources

By Arno Schuetze and Robert Venes

FRANKFURT, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Online travel group Expedia has started preparations for a stock market listing of its Trivago hotel search platform, which may be valued at more than $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

Expedia, one of the world's largest online travel services companies, has asked investment banks to pitch for roles in a initial public offering, which will likely take place in the United States later this year or early in 2017, the sources said.

The founders still own nearly one-third of the equity and are seeking to exit through the IPO listing, they added.

Bank pitches will take place as early as next week in New York, one of the people said.

($1 = 0.8982 euros) (Additional reporting by Eric Auchard, Pamela Barbaglia, Alexander Huebner and Liana Baker; Editing by Victoria Bryan)