Expedia is making waves overseas. The Bellevue-based online travel giant announced Monday morning that it plans to buy Australian online travel company Wotif.com for $658 million in cash.
Wotif Group operates online travel brands in the Asia-Pacific such as Wotif.com, lastminute.com.au, travel.com.au, Asia Web Direct, LateStays.com, GoDo.com.au and Arnold Travel Technology. Wotif Group recorded $555 million in gross bookings for the six months ended Dec. 31, 2013, and revenue of $71 million.
“Wotif Group is well positioned in the Asia-Pacific region with a portfolio of leading travel brands,” said Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement. “This acquisition will allow both companies to continue driving growth opportunities by leveraging the unique strengths each brings to the table. 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.”
Interestingly, the acquisition comes amid reports in the Chinese media that Expedia is looking to sell its 65 percent ownership stake in Chinese online travel company Expedia, a deal that could fetch as much as $1 billion.
As a matter of corporate policy, Expedia, Inc. does not comment on market rumors relating to its business. Expedia notes certain inaccurate rumors reported in Chinese media relating to its majority ownership of eLong, Inc. Expedia remains a long-term investor in eLong and supports eLong’s drive to become the leading Chinese travel site.
Expedia, with a market value of $10.55 billion, is down just over one percent in trading today. It is up 29 percent in the past year.