WHAT’S in a name? Money, that’s what.
 
Travel.com.au (TVL) shares have soared to a 3.5 year high with news that a News Corp investment vehicle – netus, headed by former ecorp boss Daniel Petre – is taking a 19.9% stake.
 
Just a few weeks ago TVL failed to raise A$1.6 million from investors in a rights issue with its underwriter absorbing the shortfall.
 
That now looks like a great investment with the TVL share value increasing 50% immediately after news broke. TVL is now trading in the 28 cent range.
 
Netus is building its stake through the acquisition 8.6 million shares from Amadeus (subject to Amadeus board approval), and the issue of another 10.6 million shares at 17 cents by TVL.
 
The placement will raise A$1.8 million.
 
Amadeus has been with TVL since the company listed in 1999. At one stage the shares were selling for A$2.80.
 
Petre will take a seat on the board, replacing Bill Lawler from Amadeus, pending final approval of the deal.
 
TVL says the extra money will be used to build and promote its two brands – travel.com.au and lastminute.com.au.
 
The latter hit new highs in March, with Total Transaction Value up 40% year-on-year.
 
Ends.
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