Expedia takeover of Wotif faces New Zealand competition hurdle

Michael Bow
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Wotif is an Australian travel website which offers rooms in popular destinations such as Sydney
The takeover of Australian travel firm Wotif by US-listed Expedia hit a snag yesterday after regulators in New Zealand delayed a green light for the deal.

Shares in Wotif, listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, fell more than seven per cent after the New Zealand Commerce Commission put the announcement on ice.

US travel group Expedia was scheduled to take control of the group today after Wotif share­holders passed the deal by a majority vote of 99.93 per cent last week. The New Zealand commission said it would make a decision no later than 21 October.

Wotif shares surged earlier this summer when it agreed to the A$3.30-a-share takeover, worth $615m (£380m).

Australia’s competition commission gave the thumbs up to the deal last week, raising hopes the long-running bid to get the deal passed by regulators was nearing a conclusion.

Wotif was founded by Australian internet entrepreneur Graeme Wood in 2000.

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