FINAL WHOOT series update - WHoever Owns Outright Travel.com.au
Travel.com.au, Lastminute.com.au and Lastminute.co.nz are now officially owned by Wotif.com. Deal closed today. Interesting tid-bits of news around the closing of this deal
- In TravelWeekly Wotif.com CEO Robbie Cooke announced that Wotif.com would have air functionality within six months. I am still trying to figure out what it means for Wotif as a brand to try to shift to air. It is well known that efforts by Expedia's Hotels.com to sell air have been a complete failure. Wotif itself tried to sell land packages back in 2004/5 but found that did not work. I am not able to think of another example of a land product online travel brand successfully adding transport (let me know if you can);
- From the same article - planned integration savings will be $1.5mm. I don't think that is enough to indicate a shut down of the Travel.com.au Sydney office (Wotif is Brisbane based) butit is big enough to presumably make a few people in that office a little nervous; and
- In the Australian Webjet MD David Clarke sad he was relieved to have missed out on buying Travel.com.au. Of course one would say that if one was the failed bidder but he is right when he says that the integration efforts that confront Wotif are going to be challenging and by no means guaranteed to work.