Helloworld is buying 50% of MTA-Mobile Travel Agents in a deal that will create a new partnership between the two groups.
Breaking the news, MTA co-managing directors, Karen and Roy Merricks said under the terms of the partnership Helloworld would acquire 50% equity in the company. The reported price was AUD 14 million.
In an issued statement, the Merricks said: “We have thought about this for a long time and while it was not any easy decision to make, however we believe that it was certainly the right one.
“We know it is important to stay competitive and by aligning ourselves with a company with a similar vision and we know the best thing to do for everyone at MTA is to bring ourselves into line with a group which will continue to grow MTA to its fullest potential.”
“We feel this is a very positive thing for everyone in the company, both our Members and staff and with this partnership, we have the opportunity to grow MTA in a very positive way.”
“We’ve watched as Andrew Burnes has made many positive changes since becoming CEO of Helloworld.”
The Merricks said their involvement in the business would continue as 50% owners following the share acquisition.
In addition, the existing MTA management and support team would remain in place and continue to operate the business with the Merricks family and chief executive Don Beattie remaining in control of the company’s day-to-day business.
“Nothing is really changing,” the Merricks’ statement said.“In fact we are in a better place than just being a member of Helloworld – we are a full partner in every sense of the word.”
“We really feel that this is a perfect fit for us all in MTA for the coming decades.”
Finance News Network (FNN) reported that Helloworld Limited would pay AUD 14 million for the 50% stake in MTA.
The company would fund the acquisition via a capital raising, seeking to raise AUD 30 million at a “bookbuild floor price” of AUD 4.25 per share. FNN said Helloworld would have an option to acquire the remaining 50% of the business in five years’ time at a multiple of seven times historical earnings.
Edited by Peter Needham