Wotif.com and Expedia have entered into “agreement” worth $703 million

By Rebeccah Elley ·

Global booking giant Expedia has made a multimillion-dollar takeover bid to purchase Australia’s Wotif.com.

Australian's love of international travel is apparent, as online booking sites grow in popularity. The consistently high level of overseas travel by Australians is attracting overseas travel-related companies to Australia, said eGlobal Travel Media.

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The “scheme implementation agreement” will see Expedia acquire 100% of the fully-diluted share capital, $3.06 per share to acquire all Wotif.com Holdings shares and shareholders would receive a special dividend of 24 cents per security.

Wotif founders Graeme Wood and Andrew Bice have already entered into separate agreements to sell their shares, which allows Expedia to acquire 19.90% of the total shares of Wotif.com.

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 explained Expedia would be able to leverage Wotif.com’s brand in an increasingly global travel market.

Wotif Group plans to release its full year financial results for the 12 months ended 30 June 2014 in mid August.

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