Deals

Expedia drops $658M for travel giant Wotif Group to expand in Asia & Australia

Expedia Dancers at State of Illinois Building

Above: Expedia Dancers at State of Illinois Building

Image Credit: Daniel X. O'Neil

Expedia Inc. snapped up Wotif Group last night, the Australian firm behind online travel sites Wotif.com and Travel.com.au, for roughly $658 million (AU $703 million).

The acquisition was sparked by Expedia’s interest in the Asia-Pacific region, although Expedia already offers localized sites in 29 countries, including Australia, Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. This deal follows Expedia’s June purchase of the Auto Escape Group, a European car-rental firm.

According to Expedia chief Dara Khosrowshahi, Wotif “is well positioned in the Asia-Pacific region with a portfolio of leading travel brands. This acquisition will allow both companies to continue driving growth opportunities by leveraging the unique strengths each brings to the table.”

Wotif has recently experienced a decline in profitability. According to Skift, the firm expects to see a net profit of around $40.2 million in 2014, down from $47.4 million in 2013.

In other Expedia news, the company took a major hit in Google Search traffic in January, causing shares in the company to drop by more than 4 percent at the time. The firm has since recovered from that drop and is slightly down today after news of the Wotif deal emerged.