Thursday, September 06, 2007

Webjet to buy - Introducing or or or

News hot off the press from Travel Weekly (Australia) that Webjet - the number one air intermediary in Australia - is to acquire all of the stock of is the number two player and owner of the franchise in Australia. Will make the combined entity the clear number one in online intermediary air but still a long way behind the airline direct sites. was valued at AUD$31mm before a trading halt. The deal is for 10 cents in cash and 0.23 Webjet shares per This values the company at $42.3mm based on the last closing price of Webet or a 20+% premium.

Couple of questions from this:
  • What will happen in the management area given the very recent announcement of a change at the top of Chris Meehan was due to take over from Adam Johnson as CEO in the new year. Webjet already have both a CEO (Richard Noon) and a Managing Director (David Clarke);
  • What will happen to the Webjet board. Current shareholders will come away with large stakes in Webjet and may want a board seat;
  • What will happen to the brand. Would be madness to lose the brand but surely we will see a merger of the Webjet and brands; and
  • It finally gives Webjet a position in the online hotel business with What will this mean for Lotsofbeds.
All fun stuff to watch cannot let ourselves get distracted from the online hotel battle in Australia and Asia which makes a sideshow out of the intermediary air wars.

Thanks to the army of tipsters who sent through the story


Anonymous said...

so many ??????????????

Anonymous said...

This is indeed a sad day for online travel in Australia. The online pioneers taken over by the evil empire. It's's fault, they dropped the ball the last few years. They only have themselves to blame. What was once the pre-eminent online travel brand (that easily beat webjet week in week out, that saw Expedia come into the Aussie market back in the late 90's and run squealing back to the USA as the market was too hard) is now ranked luckily enough in the top 5.
The company just lost it's passion - after Upton was ousted, Tonkin retired and Gair went onto better things. The company became a travel version of an accountancy firm - BORING and unimaginative.

In a perfect world it would be taking over webjet and putting out to pasture "the wonder of webjet" nonsense and Mr Clarke. Long may we never hear of him gain!!

A sad day indeed for online travel in Australia!