Webjet buys travel rival Online Republic

Webjet has boosted its car rental and cruise offering with the acquisition of New Zealand-based travel group Online Republic for $NZ85 million.

The Webjet travel booking website

Australian travel booking website Webjet has acquired NZ-based travel group Online Republic. (AAP)

Australian travel booking website Webjet has snapped up New Zealand rival Online Republic for $NZ85 million ($A80.16 million) as it moves to boost its presence in car rental and cruise markets.

The acquisition, partly funded by cash and the issuance of new Webjet shares, will give the company a foothold in the motorhome rental market.

"Online Republic is highly complementary to Webjet's existing portfolio, enabling our business to further expand its offering in car rental and cruise and enter the high growth motorhome rental market," managing director John Guscic said.

The tie-up will also provide the opportunity to accelerate growth of the brands globally, Mr Guscic said.

"We see significant opportunities in applying the benefit of our marketing and branding expertise, together with our scale, to drive market share gains," he said in a statement.

Webjet shares have been placed in a trading halt while the company raises around $72 million via an entitlement offer at $5.60 a share.

The group is also issuing 2.8 million new shares at $6.21 a piece.

Webjet shares last traded at $6.31, giving the company a market capitalisation of $510.4 million.

Online Republic generated total transaction value of NZ$229 million for the 12 months to March 31, and annual revenue of NZ$40 million, according to Webjet

The New Zealand-based group booked annual pro-forma earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of NZ$12 million, with more than 90 per cent of bookings generated outside of New Zealand.

2 min read
Published 7 June 2016 at 7:42am
Source: AAP