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11 things you might not know about Wotif.com

Monday, 7 July 2014 | By StartupSmart

1. Expedia’s proposed acquisition of Wotif for $700 million makes it the biggest acquisition of any Australian tech company to date.


2. Wotif.com was created in March 2000 by Graeme Wood, and is based in Brisbane, Australia. It has since established offices in Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom.


3. Wotif.com has been listed on the Australian Stock Exchange since June 2, 2006.


4. Wotif.com has been ranked by Alexa one of the top 15,000 trafficked websites on the internet.


5. Unlike many other travel websites, Wotif.com does not provide limitless lists of hotel details. Instead, the website provides information for the next three months, the reason being that "as a date gets closer, hotels can often drop their rates".


6. Originally, the website only provided details seven days in advance, this was expanded to 14 days in February 2001, and to 28 in September 2005 (around the time it first sought a listing on the ASX) to three months in 28 January.


7. In October 2007, Wotif.com placed a $57 million bid for Australian travel website Travel.com.au. This bid defeated Webjet's, causing the company to sell its share in the site. The takeover bid also gave Wotif.com a share in websites dealing in "online flight, car, cruise and holiday bookings", previously uncharted territory for the company.


8. Shares on Wotif.com have been volatile over the last 18 months, with the health of the online accommodation provider being monitored very closely. Wotif was one of the ten worst performers on the ASX in 2013/14, with its share price plummeting 46.5% over the 12 months to June 30. 


9. The performance of Wotif shares knocked founder Graeme Wood off the BRW Rich List this year. Wood debuted on the Rich List in 2007 with $251 million. The value of his Wotif stake has halved over the past 12 months to about $105 million.


10. Wood has donated Wotif shares to the University of Queensland Endowment Fund. His latest substantial shareholder notice lodged to the ASX in November showed he had given 4.3 million shares to UoQ since his previous notice in June 2011.


11. Wood has sold more than $18 million of shares in two transactions, about $10 million in December 2012 and $8.9 million in October 2013. The major shareholder is co-founder Andrew Brice, who collectively hold a 35.7% stake in Wotif.