Billionaire Caught In Travel Web

Cendant Corporation has sold down part of its shareholding in Webjet to investment entities associated with Melbourne billionaire Richard Pratt.
 
Thorney Holdings Pty Ltd now holds more than 7% of the online travel outfit after picking up five million shares at 36 cents from Cendant company Southern Cross Distribution Systems.
 
The transaction yielded a profit of around A$1.5 million for Southern Cross. Cendant still holds a 6.64% Webjet shareholding and has been a long-term investor in the company.
 
In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, Thorney Holdings revealed it has been building a stake in Webjet since early July, when shares were trading at 19 cents.
 
Webjet Managing Director David Clarke has also been a seller to Thorney Holdings, offloading five million shares at 32 cents earlier this month.
 
Meanwhile, Clarke said he had no qualms about the looming presence of S8 on the register through its likely takeover of Harvey World Travel, which owns around 20% of Webjet.
 
HWT has the option of going to 35%, but Clarke said this would not be enough to win control of the company.
 
He said HWT fully exercising the option would also result in a cash bonanza for Webjet, giving the company new options.
 
Richard Pratt, Chairman of Visy Industries, has made his fortune through paper manufacturing and recycling.
 
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