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Expedia launches $703 million bid to buy

July 8, 2014 Corporate, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Global travel booking titan Expedia has launched a $700 million takeover bid for a high-profile local operator, Australia’s

The consistently high level of overseas travel by Australians is attracting overseas travel-related companies to Australia.

The deal announced yesterday would see Expedia Group pay AUD 3.06 per share to acquire all Holdings shares. Shareholders would also gain a special dividend of 24 cents per security.

Wotif founders Graeme Wood and Andrew Bice have agreed to sell their shares to Expedia, the Australian Financial Review reported.

Wood holds about 20% of shares and Bice owns about 15.5%. Holdings has entered into a Scheme of Implementation agreement with the US company. In a statement issued yesterday, Wotif chairman Dick McIlwain said:

“As a board, we have carefully assessed the changing dynamics of the markets in which we operate, and the uncertainties and risks that we would face if we were to continue as an independent company.

“With that in mind, we believe that shareholder value will be maximised and that Wotif Group will be best positioned for the future, through the proposed transaction.”

McIlwain said Expedia would be able to leverage’s brand in an increasingly global travel market. SkyNews noted that the takeover offer comes “as Wotif struggles with falling profitability”, with the company announcing it expects to post a net profit of about AUD 43 million for the 2013/14 financial year, down from AUD 51 million in 2012/13 and AUD 58 million the year before.

Wotif will release its full-year financial results mid-August.

Expedia Inc is the US-based parent company of several global online travel brands including,,, trivago, Egencia (formerly Expedia Corporate Travel), Venere, Expedia Local Expert, Classic Vacations, Expedia CruiseShipCenters and eLong.

Expedia Inc’s companies operate more than 100 branded points of sale in more than 60 countries. Expedia also powers travel bookings for over 10,000 partners such as airlines and hotels, consumer brands, and high-traffic websites through Expedia Affiliate Network.

Written by : Peter Needham

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