Amadeus takes stake in Australian Web travel firm

Continuing its expansion into the Asia Pacific market, Amadeus has invested AUD9.93 million (US$5.2 million) in an Australian Internet travel company, travel.com.au Limited.Amadeus’ investment in travel.com.au is part of a strategic relationship between the two companies and represents 19.9 per cent of the Internet travel firm’s expanded capital.
Under the terms of the agreement, travel.com.au will issue 10.68 million new shares at approximately AUD0.93 per share to Amadeus.
Amadeus and Atlas Travel Technologies, its wholly owned subsidiary operating in Australia and New Zealand, will offer a range technologies and e-commerce solutions to complement travel.com.au’s information technology development team.
“Online travel is a global business and access to the world’s best travel technologies and online content is crucial to success,” says David Tonkin, Chief Executive Officer of travel.com.au.
Amadeus and Atlas will contribute additional “m-commerce” tools for emerging wireless applications and end-user consumer tools, which will allow travel.com.au to expand its offering. The companies will also form a strategic relationship to mutually grow their respective businesses and to expand into new business opportunities and new markets in the Asia Pacific region.
“In travel.com.au we have excellent partners with whom we can work to grow their online travel business in Australia and New Zealand, and to assist them with further developments in the wider Asia Pacific region,” says David Brett, Vice President, Asia Pacific for Amadeus. “Our e-commerce strategy is to partner with businesses that have a strong market presence, leading brands and travel expertise. In this way, partners can develop fully, benefiting from Amadeus’ leading edge technology and the opportunity that e-commerce represents for the traveler.”
Completion of this deal will be subject to the approval of travel.com.au and Amadeus’ boards, and approval by travel.com.au’s shareholders for the placement of their shares. Completion is expected by 31 December 2000.
Travel.com.au was formed in October 1997, through the merger of two successful travel agencies, Sydney Flight Centre, founded by Tonkin, and The Travel Specialists, founded by travel.com.au partner Dave Upton. Through its Web site, travel.com.au provides a range of travel products to individuals and corporate customers, including domestic and international travel, hotel accommodation, car hire, travel insurance and holiday packages.
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