AOT founder Andrew Burnes has had the last laugh as long-winded and sometimes acrimonious ‘merger’ negotiations with Helloworld concluded with him sitting pretty as CEO and, along with his wife and business partner, Cinzia, owning 40% of the combined entity.
The power couple also get a couple of seats on a brand new HLO board, just a couple of months after the old one told him to go away, saying “the strategic and financial merits of the acquisition were insufficiently compelling.
“The terms of the transaction would have resulted in the vendors of AOT becoming significant minority shareholders in HLO.”
Which is exactly what’s happened – don’t they look silly.
The new line from Helloworld is that the merger creates a “larger, stronger and more competitive” travel company.
“AOT It is a growing and profitable business, generating revenue of $55.8m and underlying EBITDA of $14.3m in 2015 financial year,” Helloworld said in a statement.
“AOT brings significant strength in inbound and wholesale travel and accommodation management and will bolster HLO’s existing retail, wholesale and government travel business.”
HLO bought AOT for $72.2m in shares and $25m cash.
The new seven person board that will also include representative of Helloworld’s other major shareholders: Qantas, Sintack and Europe Voyager.