Firms: King & Wood Mallesons (Expedia); Wachtell Lipton Rosen Katz (International counsel to Expedia); Clayton Utz (Wotif); Gilbert + Tobin (major shareholders)
Deal: Expedia’s proposal to purchase Wotif
Value: $703 million
Key Players: KWM’s team is being led by partners David Friedlander and Jason Watts (pictured) in Australia and Philipp Girardet in Europe. The Wachtell team is being led by M&A partner Andy Nussbaum. “If the scheme is approved, this will be a significant transaction in the Australian market,” said Watts.
The scheme is subject to customary conditions precedent including Wotif Group shareholder approval and court approval.
The Asian Lawyer reported that Clayton Utz Brisbane partners Andrew Hay and Tony Lalor are representing Wotif, Gilbert + Tobin Sydney partners Bill Spain and David Clee advising Wotif's largest shareholder, Graeme Wood.
The Brisbane-based Wotif management have agreed to the bid
Deal Significance: Wotif.com was launched in 2000 and is now a leading travel website selling accommodation, flights and packages online in more than 69 countries. Its profits have dropped in the last few years, and analysts have said that it became an attractive target for the American-based Expedia as it sought to expand its Australian operations.