Expedia launches Wotif takeover bid

Last updated 12:11 07/07/2014
SELLING UP: Wotif founders Graeme Wood (pictured) and Andrew Bice agreed to sell their shares to Expedia.

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Global travel booking giant Expedia has launched an A$700 million (NZ$750m) takeover bid for Australia's Wotif.com.

Under the deal, Expedia Group will pay A$3.06 per share to acquire all Wotif.com Holdings shares and shareholders will also receive a special dividend of A24 cents per security.

The total A$3.30 payment is a 31 per cent premium on the average trading price for Wotif.com shares over the past five days and the company recommended shareholders accept the offer.

Company founders Graeme Wood and Andrew Bice agreed to sell their shares to Expedia.

Wood holds about 20 per cent of shares in the company while Bice owns about 15.5 per cent.

Wotif.com Holdings has entered into a Scheme of Implementation agreement with the US company.

Wotif chairman Dick McIlwain, said the sale was the best way to maximise shareholder value.

"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," he said in a statement today.

"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 Wotif.com's brand in an increasingly global travel market.

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