WHOOT series update - WHoever Owns Outright Travel.com.au
Wotif.com has lodged what I am sure is their favourite filing of the year in stating that they have jumped to 82.129% of Travel.com.au through an acquisition of AOT's 19% stake. Travelweekly have some good commentary here from AOT CEO Andrew Burnes. Seems he was very interested in securing his distribution through Travel.com.au - though would appear he has made a nice profit as well.
There is now no reason for the remaining shareholders to keep a hold of their shares. Wotif have crossed the magic 75% barrier and this deal is over. Now all Wotif have to do is to figure out what to do with three brands in one market, HQs in two cities, two supplier teams talking to the same people, two CEOs, two maybe three technology platforms and a partridge in a pear tree.
UPDATE - 31 Dec up to 83.313%
UPDATE 2 - Wotif.com has declared its offer "unconditional". This means it does not matter if any other acceptances are made or not. Either way Wotif will purchase all the shares that have accepted the offer. To increase the certainty that this will be as many shares as possible, they have also extended the period for acceptance (for a second time) to 31 January 2008. In checking through the filings came across this great piece of advertising placement on smh.com.au
FINAL UPDATE - deal done! Confirmation that Wotif have 97% of the stock and can compulsorily acquire the rest. The offer formally closed today (1Feb08). TravelWeekly