Andrew Burnes to become Helloworld chief executive officer.
Helloworld Limited has just announced the acquisition of AOT Group, saying the combined businesses will create a “single travel company that is larger, stronger and more competitive”.
Helloworld is paying $25 million in cash plus 218.7 million HLO shares, which at today’s share price of 33c each makes the total deal worth about $97 million.
In combination with their existing 10.3% shareholding in Helloworld Limited, the AOT vendors will hold 40% of the overall business’s share capital. The issue of additional shares will see the stakes of existing substantial shareholders reduced, with Qantas cut to 19.3%, Europe Voyager fo 15.6%, Sintack to 13.4% and UBS to 4.6%.
The deal has been documented in a Merger Implementation Agreement which is conditional on approval of Helloworld shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting expected to be held in January 2016.
With effect from the completion of the transaction, AOT co-founder and ceo Andrew Burnes will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer of Helloworld Limited. Cinzia Burnes, AOT chief operating officer, will also become an Executive Director of the company.
Pending the deal, the search for a replacement for outgoing ceo Elizabeth Gaines has been suspended and in the interim Jenny Macdonald will be HLO’s acting chief executive.
More details in today’s issue of Travel Daily.