Expedia has agreed to purchase Australia based Wotif that encompasses brands such as Asia Web Direct and Lastminute.com.au.
The $658 million deal is expected to close in October, although there could be other bidders for the company such as Priceline.
You can read more about this development on WSJ’s website here.
Expedia’s current brands:
Expedia, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Egencia, eLong, Trivago, CarRentals.com
Wotif.com, lastminute.com.au, travel.com.au, Asia Web Direct, LateStays.com and GoDo.com
Here are tidbits from the WSJ piece:
The U.S. Internet travel giant offered 703.1 million Australian dollars (US$658.4 million) for Wotif. Its bid of A$3.30 a share, including a special dividend of 24 Australian cents, represented a 25% premium to Wotif’s last traded price of A$2.64.
The deal was embraced by Wotif’s board, with shareholders owning a combined 35.7% of the company—including founder Graeme Wood —already saying they’d accept the offer. The online company was launched in March 2000 in the midst of the dot-com boom, aiming to match customers with cheap accommodation that hoteliers were struggling to fill.
Wotif will “enhance our Asia-Pacific supply,” Dara Khosrowshahi, Expedia’s chief executive, said in a statement. “Wotif is well positioned in the region with a portfolio of leading travel brands.”
Wotif, which offers accommodation both within and outside Australia, owns several other brands, including lastminute.com.au and Asia Web Direct. Buying popular rival brand names can also help Web-based companies such as Expedia stay near the top of results in search engines such as Google.
Do we really need more Expedias under different skin? Expedia already controls quite a few brands and soon all these Wotif ones as well.
You have to remember that Travelocity is also mainly a skin for Expedia that provides all the technology and customer service to the company.