Wotif.com announces IPO

Wotif.com has lodged a prospectus with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to seek a listing of its shares on the Australian Stock Exchange in an initial public offering (“IPO”).

Under the IPO, a total of 85.984 million shares are offered for sale by Wotif.com’s existing shareholders, representing approximately 42% of the company’s issued capital. The remaining 58% of the company will be retained by its existing shareholders. Graeme Wood, Wotif.com’s CEO and Managing Director, will retain a 25.1% shareholding in the company post IPO.

The offer price is to be set through an institutional bookbuild within a pricing range of $1.75 to $2.00 per share. Based on the midpoint of this range, the offer size is approximately $161 million and Wotif.com’s market capitalisation will be approximately $381 million. The proceeds of the offer (net of the offer costs) will be received by the selling shareholders.

Wotif.com CEO and Managing Director, Graeme Wood, commented: “Today’s announcement is the culmination of six years of hard work by the Wotif.com team.

“We have a low-cost, highly focused business model which has consistently generated strong revenue and earnings growth since the company commenced operations. We are the Australasian market leader in the online accommodation industry processing approximately 36% of all online accommodation sales in Australia and 18% in New Zealand.”

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Wotif.com is now one of the most readily recognised brands in the Australian and New Zealand markets for online accommodation booking, with brand recognition estimated at 30% in Australia, 24% in New Zealand and higher among regular travellers.

In FY2005 Wotif.com reported revenue of $32.1 million and the Board of Directors is forecasting revenue in FY2006 and FY2007 to increase by 41% (to $45.3 million) and 23% (to $55.8 million) respectively. On the basis of these forecasts the company expects to produce NPAT of $15.7 million and $19.1 million in FY2006 and FY2007.

Subject to meeting Directors’ forecasts, Wotif.com anticipates declaring a fully franked final dividend of 1 cent per share for FY2006 and 8.4 cents per share for FY2007. Based on the midpoint of the offer price range the FY2007 forecast dividend represents a yield of approximately 4.5%.

The Wotif.com Board of Directors* is comprised of: Dick McIlwain (Independent Non-executive Chairman), Graeme Wood (Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer), Andrew Brice (Non-executive Director), Kevin Fitzpatrick (Independent Non-executive Director) and Ben Smith (Independent Non-executive Director).

The joint lead managers for the offer are Macquarie Equity Capital Markets Limited and ABN AMRO Morgans Corporate Limited.

Applications for shares can only be accepted on the application form attached to the prospectus or the New Zealand Investment Statement.


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