Expedia gets thumbs up for £380m takeover of Wotif

Michael Bow
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EXPEDIA’S $615m (£380m) takeover of Australian online travel firm Wotif Group was passed with a thumping majority by shareholders yesterday.

The tie-up had faced heavy scrutiny from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which feared a takeover would hurt competition in the online travel industry, but it approved the deal last week.

Wotif shareholders passed the deal by a majority vote of 99.93 per cent and US-listed Expedia is now scheduled to take control of the group on 15 October. The turnout for the vote was 94.85 per cent.

The deal is set to be rubber-stamped by the Supreme Court of Queensland.

“If this occurs, Wotif Group shares will be suspended from trading on ASX (the Australian Stock Exchange) at the close of trading on Wednesday, 15 October 2014,” the company said.

Wotif shares surged back in July when the company’s board recommended a A$3.30-a-share takeover offer from Expedia.

The site was founded by Australian internet entrepreneur Graeme Wood in 2000 and listed on the stock market in 2006.

It started life as a last-minute booking website for hotels, offering deals just seven days in advance. Customers now have a three-month window to book.

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