Expedia to acquire Wotif Group for $658 million

Expedia has agreed to spend $658 million to acquire Australia-based Wotif Group, home to the WotifLastminute.com.au and Latestays brands.

The deal is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2014 following approval by Wotif shareholders and regulatory clearance.

The group claims to have a customer base of 3.5 million (as of December 2013) and over 580 employees across a portfolio which also includes Travel.com.auAsia Web DirectGoDo.com.au and Arnold Travel Technology.

President and CEO of Expedia, Dara Khosrowshahi, says:

“Wotif Group is well positioned in the Asia-Pacific region with a portfolio of leading travel brands. This acquisition will allow both companies to continue driving growth opportunities by leveraging the unique strengths each brings to the table.

“Wotif Group will add to our collection of travel’s most trusted brands and enhance our Asia-Pacific supply, while Expedia will expose Wotif Group’s customers to our extensive global supply and world-class technology.”

MD and CEO of Wotif Group, Scott Blume, says:

“Joining Expedia allows us to rapidly advance two of our strategic initiatives – strengthening offshore supply and improving our customer and supplier value propositions through enhanced technology.

“We believe this will help solidify our position as the premier travel brand in Australia and New Zealand, grow our business across the Asia-Pacific region and increase our exposure and brand awareness to inbound international travellers.”

Wotif Group reported profit after tax of $20.36 million for six months ending December 2013, with revenue of $68.34 million over the same period

Approximately 110,000 flights and 3.2 million room nights were booked across the group in the second half of 2013.

Founded in 2000, Wotif Group has offices in Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, UK and Vietnam.

In two of Wotif’s key markets, Australia and New Zealand, Expedia has competed with it head-to-head for many years.

The top Australian travel websites as of September 2013 (data by Experian Hitwise):

  1. Webjet Australia
  2. Wotif.com
  3. Expedia Australia
  4. Flight Centre Australia
  5. Lastminute.com.au (a Wotif Group company)

The top New Zealand travel websites as of July 2013 (data by Experian Hitwise):

  1. Expedia.co.nz
  2. Wotif.com
  3. Webjet New Zealand
  4. Flight Centre New Zealand
  5. House of Travel

Elsewhere in Asia-Pacific, Expedia has 65% share in one of the top Chinese OTA, eLong and also signed a joint venture in March 2011 with AirAsia.

– See more at: http://www.tnooz.com/article/Expedia-to-acquire-Wotif-Group-for-usd-658-million-expands-APAC-presence/#utm_source=Tnooz+Mailing+List&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=f69b4f181c-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_term=0_c691357c44-f69b4f181c-137267565

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