Travel.com.au has urged its shareholders to sit tight as the online travel agent considers new, significantly improved bids received yesterday from rival suitors Wotif.com and Webjet.
Earlier this week Wotif.com lodged a $50 billion dollar bid for Travel.com.au, trumping an earlier proposal by Webjet that had already received the recommendation of the Travel.com.au board.
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Then yesterday things really hotted up. First Webjet made a new offer for the company that improved on its previous bid by 19% and, according to chairman David Clarke, trumped Wotif.com’s 50c per share bid with a mixed cash and share offer with an implied value of 54.47c per share.
Not long after Wotif.com responded with its own counter-bid, the last minute online accommodation business ratcheting up its offer to $54.8 million, available to shareholders either as an all-cash or all-shares deal.
The ball is now in Travel.com.au’s court, at least for the moment. In a statement released today the company’s board urged shareholders to “take no action” until it had completed its assessment of the competing offers.