Wotif.com Holdings Limited (Wotif.com) has entered into an agreement to acquire all the issued shares in Asia Web Direct (HK) Limited. (2/4/2008)
Completion of the acquisition is conditional upon satisfactory due diligence investigations and is expected to occur before the end of March 2008.
Asia Web Direct has hotel inventory from in excess of 4,000 hotels within South East Asia.
The Asia Web Direct Group, which has operated since 1993, has provided online instant accommodation booking services, online tours booking services and online travel information through a network of more than 100 travel portals and destination websites (such as Phuket.com and Bangkok.com websites) and via its LateStays.com booking website (a 28-day accommodation booking service) and the SmartStays.com website (which operates a year-round booking service).
This network of sites attracts approximately three million visitors monthly and in 2007 achieved bookings of 450,000 room nights (approximately).
Asia Web Direct´s operations are conducted from offices located in Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi and Kuala Lumpur with input from a team of more than 150 staff. The operations are led by Mr Neil Cumming (AWD President) and Jirapa (Sii) Eawsakul (AWD CEO), both of whom have agreed to remain in their current roles post-acquisition. Cumming has been invited (and has agreed) to join Wotif.com Holdings Limited´s Board of Directors following completion.
According to Wotif.com, the addition of Asia Web Direct to Wotif.com´s operations will:
• significantly increase the scale of Wotif.com´s existing Asian operations (in FY2007 Wotif.com sold approximately 180,000 room nights in Asia);
• increase the combined Group´s attractiveness as a distribution channel for Asian hoteliers and provide Wotif.com´s existing suppliers with further distribution via Asia Web Direct´s sites;
• expand the Group´s geographical customer reach;
• expand the hotel offering available for Asia Web Direct´s customers by providing access to Wotif.com´s inventory outside Asia;
• also expand the offering for Wotif.com´s existing customers by providing access to Asian hotels not currently available on its sites;
• be accretive to Wotif.com´s earnings per share in the first full year of operations.