US travel booking giant Expedia is expanding its presence in the Asia Pacific region after announcing a deal to buy Australia-based online hotel and travel booking company Wotif Group for A$703 million (US$658 million).
The 13-year-old company is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, has offices in nine countries and counts Wotif.com, lastminute.com.au, travel.com.au, Asia Web Direct, LateStays.com, and GoDo.com.au among its businesses. The deal works out at A$3.30 (US$3.09) per share, which is around a 30 percent premium on the valuation of the company based on last week’s trading.
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The Wotif Group handled 3.2 million rooms during the second half of 2013 and counts over 29,000 hotels across its sites. Though it recorded A$593 million (US$544 million) in total bookings and made A$76 million (US$71 million) in revenue during the second half of 2013, it has struggled with increased competition and a strong Australia dollar. The group’s share price is down 42 percent over the past 12 months.
“[The acquisition of the] Wotif Group will add to our collection of travel’s most trusted brands and enhance our Asia-Pacific supply, while Expedia will expose Wotif Group’s customers to our extensive global supply and world-class technology,” said Expedia President and CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement.
The deal is subject to the approval of Wotif Group shareholders and regulatory conditions, but the companies expect that it will be completed in the final quarter of this year.
Image via Daniel X. O’Neil / Flickr