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​Expedia announces AU$700M takeover bid for Wotif

Wotif has described a recent takeover bid from Expedia as the best option for the company in an uncertain global travel market.


US-based online travel company Expedia has announced a takeover bid for Wotif, offering to buy out the Australian company for AU$703 million.

Wotif, which operates a travel site for customers in Australia and New Zealand, confirmed Expedia's proposal to purchase 100 percent of the company's shares, which would see shareholders receive AU$3.30 per share.

Speaking about the proposed takeover, Wotif Group chairman Dick McIlwain said it was the best option for the independent company, which operates in a competitive global market.

"As a board we have carefully assessed the changing dynamics of the markets in which we operate, and the uncertainties and risks that we would face if we were to continue as an independent company," he said.

"With that in mind we believe that shareholder value will be maximised, and that Wotif Group will be best positioned for the future, through the proposed transaction. The Expedia Group is well placed to leverage and support our strong brands, operations, people and customer relationships in an online travel market that is becoming increasingly global."

For its part, Expedia heralded the acquisition as an opportunity to grow in the Asia Pacific market.

The publicly-traded Wotif Group has had mixed fortunes in recent years, reporting diminishing profits in its last annual report and tracking an overall decline in its share price, particularly over the past 18 months.