James Packer set to buy into South Sydney Rabbitohs; Wotif shares on hold for shareholders’ vote on Expedia deal: Midday Roundup

Eloise Keating /

James Packer looks set to become the latest high-profile businessman to invest in a sporting club, with reports today the mogul is in the final stages of securing a 37.5% stake in the South Sydney Rabbitohs, this year’s National Rugby League premiers.

Fairfax reports Packer is likely to pay upwards of $10 million to purchase the stake in the club currently owned by fellow businessman Peter Holmes a Court.

If successful, Packer would become a joint owner of the premiership club alongside actor Russell Crowe, and the $12.5 million price tag would make the club the league’s most valuable at around $33 million.

Wotif shares on hold for shareholders’ vote on Expedia deal

Shares in online travel agency Wotif have been placed in a trading halt, ahead of a shareholders’ vote on the proposed takeover of the company by global travel giant Expedia.

Wotif notified the ASX of the vote this morning, saying it expects to announce the outcome of the vote before the end of trading today.

The vote follows an announcement from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission last week that it would not stand in the way of the takeover bid, which is valued at $703 million.

Associations representing thousands of small and medium Australian accommodation providers slammed the ACCC’s decision, which they say is short-sighted and likely to affect the ability of smaller players to negotiate fair and equitable terms with the companies.

Shares up on open

Aussie shares have recorded steady gains this morning, following a strong overnight lead from Wall Street.

CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said the strong activity is expected to continue throughout the day.

“The US Fed’s meeting minutes, released overnight, re-assured markets that interest rates will remain steady, and a slowing Europe is a factor in the Fed’s thinking about potential rate rises,” said McCarthy.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 56.7 points to 5298 points at 12.10pm AEST. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones closed 274.83 points higher, up 1.64% to 16994.2 points.


Eloise Keating

Eloise Keating is the editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Eloise was news editor at Books+Publishing, the trade press for the Australian book industry.